Landmark legislation becomes New York law
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced that legislation requiring boaters to take an eight-hour boating safety course before being allowed to navigate on New York waters has been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This law, A3471/S1639, will require all operators of a mechanically propelled boat to hold a boating safety certificate, which would be granted following successful completion of the boating safety course.
Inexperienced and reckless boaters have caused many tragedies in the tri-state area in the past two years, increasing awareness that safe boating requires education. While many boaters may believe they understand how to operate a vessel safely, often they are at a loss when encountering kayakers, wakes, and large vessels.
“My heart goes out to the families of those injured and killed in recent tragedies, including those here today from my district, and others on the Hudson, and on the Long Island Sound. They continue to experience profound anguish, which no one should have to suffer,” Galef said.
This new law implements a multi-year phase-in of boating safety certificate requirements for all boat operators. It requires 18-year-old boat operators to possess a boating safety certificate and expands with succeeding age groups in each successive year.
The legislation provides the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation with the explicit authority to develop and implement online boating safety education courses if appropriate. The law takes effect May 1, 2014.