senate Bill S450

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires operators of a mechanically propelled vessel to hold a boating safety certificate

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to cultural affairs, tourism, parks and recreation

S450 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Navigation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง49, Nav L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S7833

S450 - Bill Texts

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Mandates that all operators of mechanically propelled vessels obtain a boating safety certificate and prohibits children under the age of sixteen from operating such vessels unless accompanied by a certificated person sixteen or older except for the operation of certain vessels with small engines by persons between thirteen and fifteen years of age.

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BILL NUMBER:S450

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the navigation law, in relation to the operation of a
mechanically propelled vessel

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill amends subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 49 of the
navigation law, as amended by chapter 805 of the laws of 1992, by
mandating that no person sixteen years of age or older 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 the operator holds a boating
safety certificate issued by the commissioner, the United States
Power Squadrons or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The bill also amends this section of the navigation law by mandating
that no person under sixteen years of age or younger shall operate a
mechanically propelled vessel unless they hold a boating safety
certificate and are accompanied by a person sixteen years of age or
older who also holds a boating safety certificate, except that a
person who is under sixteen years of age but at least thirteen years
of age and possesses a boating safety certificate may operate a
mechanically propelled vessel powered by an electric motor or a
vessel which is twelve feet or longer and powered by a motor of less
than ten horsepower.

Section 2 of the bill sets forth an effective date on the first of
January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

JUSTIFICATION:

At present, the New York State Navigation Law does not mandate boating
safety certificates for all operators even though it sets forth
certain safety training requirements for minors between the ages of
10 and 18. This is simply unacceptable given the increasing numbers
of vessels operating on New York state waterways and an ever
increasing number of serious and fatal accidents occurring on those
waterways.

The 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics published United States Coast
Guard (Commandant Publication P16754.25) shows that approximately 89%
of all boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had
not completed a boating safety education course. The Coast Guard has
also reported that operators without safety certificates are more
likely to engage in negligent and inappropriate behavior such as
operator inattention, careless and reckless operation, operating at
an unsafe speed and no proper lookout and such behaviors in addition
to operator inexperience are among the "top five primary contributing
factors in accidents".

Given the high correlation between a lack of a safety training and
fatal boating accidents, it is reasonable to mandate that anyone who
operates a mechanically propelled vehicle be required to have boating
safety training.


Many organizations, including the United States Power Squadrons and
the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, already provide boating
safety courses that require about 8 hours of preparation and cost
between $25 and $75 and issue a boating safety certificate upon
completion. In addition, the New York State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation will charge a minimal $10 fee to
obtain a boating safety certificate upon completion of an approved
"New York Safe Boating Course".

The benefits of mandating boater safety training far outweigh the
relatively minimal cost to the boating public in both time and money.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.7833

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

The act shall take effect on the first of January next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   450

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism,
  Parks and Recreation

AN ACT to amend the navigation law, in relation to the  operation  of  a
  mechanically propelled vessel

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. 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:
  1. A. No person [under the age of eighteen] SIXTEEN years  OF  AGE  OR
OLDER  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[:
  a.]  the  operator is [accompanied therein by a person who is eighteen
years of age or older, or,] THE HOLDER OF A BOATING  SAFETY  CERTIFICATE
ISSUED  TO HIM BY THE COMMISSIONER, THE UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS OR
THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY.
  b. NO PERSON UNDER SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE 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  COUN-
TIES,  UNLESS  the  operator  is  [ten years of age or older and is] the
holder of a boating safety certificate issued to him by the  commission-
er,  the  United States Power Squadrons or the United States coast guard
auxiliary AND IS ACCOMPANIED THEREIN BY A PERSON WHO IS SIXTEEN YEARS OF
AGE OR OLDER WHO ALSO HOLDS SUCH A BOATING  SAFETY  CERTIFICATE,  EXCEPT
THAT  A  PERSON  WHO IS UNDER SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE BUT AT LEAST THIRTEEN
YEARS OF AGE AND POSSESSES SUCH A BOATING SAFETY CERTIFICATE MAY OPERATE
(1) A MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL POWERED SOLELY BY AN ELECTRIC MOTOR;
OR (2) A MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL WHICH IS TWELVE FEET  OR  GREATER

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03414-01-3

S. 450                              2

IN LENGTH AND POWERED BY A MOTOR, OR COMBINATION OF MOTORS, OF LESS THAN
TEN HORSEPOWER.
  3. No person who is the owner of a mechanically propelled vessel shall
knowingly  authorize  or  permit  the operation thereof on the navigable
waters of the state or any tidewaters bordering on or lying  within  the
boundaries of Nassau and Suffolk counties, unless[:
  a.] the operator [is eighteen years of age or older or,
  b.  the  operator is accompanied therein by a person eighteen years of
age or older or,
  c. the operator is ten years of age or older and is the  holder  of  a
boating safety certificate issued to him by the commissioner, the United
States Power Squadrons or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary] MEETS
THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION.
  S  2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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