HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1295        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2931

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Robert M. Koczera

_________________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to boating safety courses.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Robert M. Koczera

11th Bristol

Alan Silvia

7th Bristol

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Michael S. Day

31st Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Colleen M. Garry

36th Middlesex

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1295        FILED ON: 1/18/2017

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2931

By Mr. Koczera of New Bedford, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2931) of Robert M. Koczera and others relative to personal motorboat licensing and boating safety courses.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

_______________

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
(2017-2018)

_______________

 

An Act relative to boating safety courses.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

SECTION 1.  Chapter 90B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 2 the following section:-

Section 2A.  (a) For the purposes of this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the word, “Personal motorboat” shall mean a recreational vessel propelled by a motor that operates in excess of 25 horsepower on waters of the commonwealth; provided however, that a personal motorboat shall not include a personal watercraft or a commercial vessel, except a commercial motorboat rented or leased for personal use.

(b) (1) No person shall operate a personal motorboat on the waters of the commonwealth unless that person is licensed by the commonwealth to operate a personal motorboat, except: (i) that a person who is at least 13 years of age who possesses a valid learner's permit may operate a personal motorboat on the waters of the commonwealth, if accompanied by an operator licensed pursuant to this section; and (ii) any person who purchases and registers a personal motorboat pursuant to this chapter, may operate the personal motorboat without a license for 6 months from the date of purchase of the personal motorboat; provided, that said person shall not operate said personal motorboat without a valid license issued pursuant to this section after 6 months from the date of purchase of the personal motorboat.

(2) The director may issue a license to operate a personal motorboat to a person of 16 years of age or older, who: (i) completes a safe boater education course approved by the director in accordance with criteria established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; provided, that the course shall provide a minimum of 8 hours of instruction; and (ii)  upon completion of the safe boater education course, successfully completes a proctored examination, administered and authorized by the director or a designee, with a minimum passing score of 80 per cent.

The director may issue a learner's permit to operate a personal motorboat to a person of 13 years of age or older, who: (i) completes a safe boater education course approved by the director in accordance with criteria established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators; provided, that the course shall provide a minimum of 8 hours of instruction; and (ii)  upon completion of the safe boater education course, successfully completes a proctored examination, administered and authorized by the director or a designee, with a minimum passing score of 80 per cent; provided, however, that the permit shall be subject a restriction that the junior operator must be accompanied by an operator licensed pursuant to this section during the operation of a personal motorboat.

(3) A license issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for the lifetime of the person and may not be revoked by the department or a court without reasonable cause and a hearing, except as otherwise provided by law.

(4) A person issued a valid personal motorboat license shall carry the license on their person at all times during operation of a personal motorboat on any waters of the commonwealth.

(5) Any person who operates a personal motorboat or supervises a personal motorboat operator without proof of licensure, without reasonable excuse, shall be subject to a fine of $100; provided however, that a person issued a violation may appeal the violation to the court.

(6) Any person who forges or alters a personal motorboat license or boater safety course documents to prove compliance with this section, except official copies or corrected documents issued by the director or a government authority, shall be subject to a fine of $500.

(c) The department may recognize boating licenses, permits, or boating education certificates issued by other states, including the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Power Squadron, or such other entity approved by the director, as proof of licensure to operate a personal motorboat in waters of the commonwealth. The director may grant personal motorboat licenses to any employee of the division who operates a motorboat in the performance of their official duties.

(d) The director may establish necessary and reasonable regulations, standards, or policies, related to personal motorboat safety.

SECTION 2.   Within 2 years of the effective date of this act, the director of the division of law enforcement of the department of fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement shall promulgate regulations to implement section 1.

SECTION 3. Section 1 shall take effect 1 year after the publication of regulations promulgated pursuant to section 2 in the state register, pursuant to section 6 of chapter 30A of the General Laws.