The Illinois Senate Special Committee on Watercraft Safety recently supported a bill that will require all operators of boats powered by more than 10 hp, and born after Jan. 1, 1991, to have passed a mandatory boater safety education course. If enacted, the requirement would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. As originally written, S.B. 3433 included troublesome restrictions on solo sailing by young people, as well as other issues. The bill was revised to remove these restrictions following in-person testimony by NMMA and other in-state marine interests, as well as follow-up lobbying. It now goes to the Senate floor, and if approved, to the House for further consideration. See the full bill, here.
The committee also approved a separate bill requiring a boat operator to display a red or orange flag when a person is in the water either being towed or preparing to be towed. This requirement that was not opposed by NMMA. Senator Julie Morrison, who authored both bills, has proven to be an excellent supporter of the recreational marine community and boating safety.
NMMA will keep readers updated on the status of both bills. Questions? Contact David Dickerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.