Calif. bill would mandate boating safety course, license

The California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) says there were 473 boating accidents and 53 deaths on waterways in the state in 2012. With California just one of five states that doesn't require boat operators to pass a boasting safety test to obtain a bloater license, a state lawmaker wants to change that.

Legislation by state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, would require starting in 2018, DBW-issued vessel operator cards to be held by boat operators 20 years old or younger. By 2025, the boat license requirement would apply to everyone. The cards would be issued to those who provide proof they have passed an online boater operator exam on the boating division's website. There would be a $30 charge for the vessel operator charge. It would be valid for life.

"The goal here is protecting public safety, protecting the boat operators ..." Monning said.

Senate Bill 941 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee next week


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