Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account:
(a) By all vessels:
(i) the state of visibility;
(ii) the traffic density including concentration of fishing vessels or any other vessels;
(iii) the maneuverability of the vessel with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability in the prevailing conditions;
(iv) at night the presence of background light such as from shores lights or from back scatter of her own lights;
(v) the state of wind, sea, and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards;
(vi) the draft in relation to the available depth of water.
(b) Additionally, by vessels with operational radar:
(i) the characteristics, efficiency and limitations of the radar equipment;
(ii) any constraints imposed by the radar range scale in use;
(iii) the effect on radar detection of the sea state, weather, and other sources of interference;
(iv) the possibility that small vessels, ice and other floating objects may not be detected by radar at an adequate range;
(v) the number, location, and movement of vessels detected by radar; and
(vi) the more exact assessment of the visibility that may be possible when radar is used to determine the range of vessels or other objects in the vicinity.
(Pub. L. 96–591, §2, Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3418.)
Pub. L. 108–293, title III, §303(a), (c), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1042, provided that this section is repealed effective on the effective date of final regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating under section 2071 of this title.
Section was enacted as part of section 2 of Pub. L. 96–591 which enacted the Inland Navigational Rules which comprise this subchapter.