Virginia Boater Education and Safety Legislation Preserved

At the urging of NMMA, Boat US and state boating safety organizations, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe rebuffed an effort by the legislature to gut a portion of the state’s mandatory boating safety education law. The governor removed  a provision in HB 650 that what would have exempted many boaters more than 45 years old from taking the state’s mandatory boater safety course.  Since the state’s mandatory education requirement began five years ago, there has been a significant drop in the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities. Safer waterways encourage boating, boat sales and increased time on the water.

NMMA's state GR staff worked with Boat US and Virginia boating safety organizations to prevent the bill from passing with an exemption for older boaters.  NMMA supports mandatory boater education. Education is the best way to prevent boating accidents and improve boating safety. Unfortunately, many boaters have never taken a boating safety course, which puts themselves and others at risk.  The Governor’s action stressed his commitment to maintaining safety on the waterways. Questions? Contact David Dickerson at