Bill S1532-2009

Requires boating safety certificates of all persons operating a mechanically propelled vessel

Requires boating safety certificates of all persons operating a mechanically propelled vessel; provides for a phase in period.

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  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • Feb 2, 2009: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

 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 State.

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.

JUSTIFICATION : 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 education.

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.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY 2008: S.8073 - Referred to Transportation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None. EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately with certain provisions.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1532 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 2, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MORAHAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation 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 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 years] 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, b. the operator is ten years of age or older and] 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. (B) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO PERSONS: CERTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER AS BOATING SAFETY INSTRUCTORS; MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES POWER SQUADRONS; MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AUXILIARY; HOLDERS OF PUBLIC VESSEL LICENSES PURSUANT TO SECTION SIXTY-FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE; POLICE OFFICERS ACTING PURSUANT TO ASSIGNED DUTIES; PEACE OFFICERS ACTING PURSUANT TO ASSIGNED DUTIES; LIFEGUARDS ACTING PURSUANT TO ASSIGNED DUTIES; FIRE AND RESCUE PERSONNEL ACTING PURSUANT TO ASSIGNED DUTIES; AND PERSONS LICENSED TO OPERATE VESSELS BY THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD OR THE CANADIAN COAST GUARD. THE COMMIS- SIONER BY RULE AND REGULATION MAY PROVIDE FOR THE EXEMPTION OF ADDI-
TIONAL PERSONS NOT LISTED IN THIS PARAGRAPH FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION. 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] THE OPERATOR 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. S 2. Section 78 of the navigation law, as amended by chapter 138 of the laws of 1998, is amended to read as follows: S 78. Boating safety certificate. 1. "Boating safety certificate" shall mean a certificate issued by the commissioner evidencing that the holder thereof has successfully completed a course of instruction in boating safety as herein after provided. The commissioner shall put into effect a plan for the training of youthful boat operators and the issu- ance of such boating safety certificates. For the purposes of this section, the term "boating safety" shall include instruction in the safe operation of ANY MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL, personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft. 2. "Boating safety certificate" shall also mean a certificate issued by the commissioner evidencing that the holder thereof has successfully completed a course of instruction in the safe operation of vessels, including THE SAFE OPERATION OF personal watercraft and [speciality] SPECIALTY prop-craft. The commissioner is authorized to collect a fee not to exceed ten dollars for the issuance of such certificate which fee shall be deposited in the "I love NY waterways" boating safety fund established by section ninety-seven-nn of the state finance law, as added by chapter eight hundred five of the laws of nineteen hundred ninety-two, and shall be solely available to support the administration of MECHANICALLY PROPELLED VESSEL, personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft safety training and enforcement. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that section one of this act shall take effect January 1, 2011 and shall apply to all operators born on or after January 1, 2011 and shall apply to all opera- tors born on or after January 1, 1992; provided further on and after January 1, 2012 and before January 1, 2013 such section shall apply to all operators born on or after January 1, 1980; provided, further that on and after January 1, 2013 and before January 1, 2014 such section shall apply to all operators born on and after January 1, 1970; provided, further, that on and after January 1, 2014 such section shall apply to all operators. Upon a finding that courses do not exist in sufficient numbers to enable the operators of any mechanically propelled vessel to earn boating safety certificates in a timely fashion as required by subdivision 1 of section 49 of the navigation law, as amended by section one of this act, the commissioner of parks, recre- ation and historic preservation is authorized by rule or regulation to modify the dates provided in this section.

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