BILL NUMBER: S1532 REVISED 03/23/09
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the navigation law, in relation to requiring all
persons operating a mechanically propelled vessel to be a holder of a
boating safety certificate
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
To mandate boating safety certification requirements for the operation
of vessels mechanically operated on navigable waters in New York
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
Subdivisions 1 and 3 of Section 49 of the Navigation Law, as amended
by Chapter 805 of the Laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows:
No person shall operate a mechanically propelled vessel on the
navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying
within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties unless such
person is the holder of a Boating Safety Certificate issued to him or
her by the commissioner, the United States Power Squadrons, or the
united States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
No person who is the owner of a mechanically propelled vessel shall
knowingly authorize or permit the operation of his or her vessel in
the navigable waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or
lying within the boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties unless the
operator possesses a Boating Safety Certificate issued by one of the
entities detailed in the above paragraph.
New York State has close to 500,000 registered boating vessels, not
including the non-mechanically propelled boats, which do not require
registration. The number of boats continues to grow, particularly
personal water craft jet skis; increasing the potential for boating
accidents. In addition, the lack of a boating safety requirement for
all vessel operators enables many to boat without adequate accident
prevention education. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about 70% of
all notional reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator
had not received boating safety instruction.
Several states including New Jersey, Connecticut, Alabama, District of
Columbia, New Hampshire, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, and
Wisconsin already require that the operator of the boat posses a
certificate showing that he or she has passed an approved boating
safety course. The National Association of State Boating Law
Administrators and the united States Coast Guard have issued
recommendations that all states implement mandatory safety boating
The New York State Legislature and Governor have recognized the
dangers posed by the lack of boater safety education. Since the
1960's, youths between the ages of 10 and 18 who operate a motor boat
without an adult must possess a Boating Safety Certificate. Since
2004, all operators of personal water crafts must complete a boating
safety course that has the same content as the one provided to the
youths. This mandatory boating safety requirement legislation would
cover all vessel operators through a 3 year phase in. By 2014, all
vessel operators would need to possess a Boating Safety Certificate,
resulting in safer waterways for all New York State.
2008: S.8073 - Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect immediately with certain provisions.
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