Motorized boat owners in New York state will soon need to take a boat safety coarse to be allowed to ride their boats.
The requirement does not discriminate by the size of the boat, or by how much experience an individual has on the water.
The new measure seems to be directed at adults in their mid-20s or older, and aims to see them taking certified classes for boat safety. The classes can be completed online in a couple of hours, or in person in several hours. The costs of the tests have yet to be determined, but they’re assumed to start at $10 and cost $30-$60 in some cases.
According to Senator John Brooks, the measure was taken in order to prevent more accidents from taking place. “It’s not meant to punish anybody. It’s meant to recognize that we’re having accidents on the water,” said Brooks, who sponsored the legislation. The new legislation was named after Brianna Lieneck, 11, who died in a boating accident in Long Island’s Great South Bay back in 2005. This long-delayed legislation will affect those seeking to ride boats, while businesses that rent boats out will be responsible for explaining basic safety rules to customers.
The bill passed the Senate earlier in May 40-18, with much of the opposition citing a lack of discrimination between motor boats of different sizes and maximum speeds. “I would have liked to see a bill with a carve-out that talked about the different types of boating,” said Senator Ranzenhofer, who voted against the bill.