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HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 1/17/2014

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3855

 

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

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In the Year Two Thousand Fourteen

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An Act relative to boater safety to be known as the David Hanson act.

 

              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. This Act shall be referred to as the “David Hanson Boater Safety Act”.

              SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 90B of the General Laws as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition is hereby amended by inserting, after the definition of “Boating Accident” , the following definition:–

              “Boating Certificate”, a boating safety education certificate issued to a person who has met the established minimum standard of boating safety education competency.

             

              SECTION 3. Said chapter 90B of the General Laws  is hereby further amended by inserting  after section 38, the following 6 sections:-

              Section 39.  The director shall establish and implement a boating education program. In establishing thes program the director shall:

              1.         Set a minimum standard of boating education competency which shall be consistent with the applicable standard established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators .  The director may update the minimum standard of competency as necessary.

              2.         Develop a boating education course, designed to meet the minimum standard of competency established under paragraph  (1) of this section.

              3.         Develop a boating education equivalency examination designed to test knowledge which meets the minimum standard of competency established under paragraph  (1) of this section.

              4.         Develop a boating certificate designed to meet the purposes of this act.

              5.         Establish a one-time fee for the boating certificate, and a reasonable fee for a duplicate, to be deposited in a retained revenue account.

              6.             Evaluate and approve other boating safety courses that meet the minimum standard of competency in conjunction with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators .

              Section 40.  A person who was born on or after January 1, 1990 shall not operate a motorboat on the waters of the commonwealth, unless such person obtains, beginning on January 1, 2015, a boating certificate as evidence of successful passage of an approved boating safety course or equivalency examination pursuant to section 39.

              A person shall not operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the commonwealth, unless such person obtains a boating certificate as evidence of successful passage of an approved boating safety course or an equivalency examination pursuant to section 39.  Nothing in sections 39 through 42, inclusive, shall supersede the requirements for operators of personal watercraft established in sections 9A and 9B of chapter 90B.  The phase-in schedule for personal watercraft operators to obtain a boating certificate shall be by age, as follows:

              By January 1, 2015- All personal watercraft operators 25 years of age and younger;

              By January 1, 2016- All personal watercraft operators 35 years of age and younger;

              By January 1, 2017- All personal watercraft operators 45 years of age and younger;

              By January 1, 2018- All personal watercraft operators

              The director may issue a boating certificate to any person who is  12 years of age or older, who:

              (a)         Shows evidence of having successfully completed a boating safety course approved by the director, or shows evidence of having successfully completed a boating safety equivalency examination approved by the director and

              (b)        Pays the established fee for the certificate to the division.

              Section 41. A person who is required to obtain a boating certificate shall possess such certificate when operating a motorboat and shall present such certificate upon the request of a law enforcement officer duly empowered to enforce Chapter 90B.  Failure to present a valid certificate or an  equivalent certificate to such a law enforcement officer shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this section.

              No person shall alter, forge, counterfeit, or falsify a boating certificate.

              No person shall possess a boating certificate that has been altered, forged, counterfeited or falsified.

              No person shall loan or permit his boating certificate to be used by another person.

              No motorboat owner shall permit another person to operate his motorboat in violation of the provisions of this  section or sections 40, 42 or 44.

              A violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and $250 for all subsequent offenses.

              Section 42. A person shall be  exempt from obtaing a boating certificate issued by the commonwealth as specifically provided  under the following circumstances:

              A non-resident, who is  12 years of age or older,,who is temporarily operating a motorboat on waters of the commonwealth for less than 60 days and complies with his state of residence certificate requirements or possesses a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card; or a person who possesses a valid license to operate a commercial vessel issued by the United  States. Coast Guard pursuant to 46 C.F.R., Part 10 or an equivalent license issued by a state or the government of Canada; or a person who owns a motorboat with a new certificate of number issued by the commonwealh  or a new marine document issued by the United States Coast Guard, shall have 120 days from the issue date, to obtain a boating certificate; or a person who operates a motorboat under training and is accompanied on-board and directly supervised by a competent person who is 18 years of age or older and  holds a valid boating certificate or is exempt under  this section; or a person who is a18 years of age or older, and  is an authorized operator of a rented or leased motorboat shall first review and complete said checklist before operating the motorboat.

              For the purposes of this section the term “non-resident”, shall mean a person residing outside Massachusetts, or residing in Massachusetts for a period of less than 6 consecutive months.

              Section 43.  The director may promulgate regulations deemed necessary to implement the provisions of sections 39, 40, 41, 42 and 44. .

              Section 44. Beginning on January 1, 2015, a person who is engaged in the business of renting or leasing a motorboat shall provide a divisionapproved safe motorboat operation checklist to each person who is  18 years of age or older, and will be an authorized operator and is not in compliance with section 42..  Each authorized operator of a rented or leased motorboat shall first review and complete said checklist before operating the motorboat.

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