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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has been some talk about Richmond (I saw a petition and a request for public input about 6 months ago) of having a requirement for boat owners to successfully pass a boat operator's course and having to sucessfully pass. If this comes about (and it may) then you will be required to take a registered course. The course here supposedly qualifies and the records will be retained for proof at a later date if the law goes through.

This is being offered on the Peninsula.

Anyway, it's a good course, and we all should take it every once in a while to be on top of things............... I believe you also get a reduction on your boat insurance for a passing grade.

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It would be nice if all opperators had basic Rules of the Road. I have been on a few boats that the owner did not know who had the right of way in a crossing situation... just think of of the lights at night. Your right Jim it will get bogged down in red tape.
 

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That is true. You should get about a 40% reduction in your boating insurance after passing the CG Boating Safety Coarse. At least Nationwide did for me. I took a few years ago in Norfolk at the NOAO facility. Will the state honor those who have already passed the coarse?
 

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That is true. You should get about a 40% reduction in your boating insurance after passing the CG Boating Safety Coarse. At least Nationwide did for me. I took a few years ago in Norfolk at the NOAO facility. Will the state honor those who have already passed the coarse?
If Nationwide gave you a 40% break with the course then you were already paying way too much. Their boat insurance has almost always been the highest around.

Most of the companies that I have used in the past gave the same break for several years of experience as they did for the class.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is true. You should get about a 40% reduction in your boating insurance after passing the CG Boating Safety Coarse. At least Nationwide did for me. I took a few years ago in Norfolk at the NOAO facility. Will the state honor those who have already passed the coarse?
I was talking to one of the USCG Aux Officers today and he told me that if the course is taken, a record is kept on file and will be accepted by the state should this go through. Courses taken some time back will not be honored as there was no permanent records kept according to what he was told.

Call the number given and ask. They can fill you in on the particulars.

Jim,

There are petitions floating around and there already has been rough draft of guidelines drawn up. Problems like jet skis swamping canoes and kayaks plus an increase in boating accidents and damage from wakes is what I've heard the reason is for the renewed interest by those in Richmond.

York County has had enough of a problem just on Wormley Creek with the jet skiers coming out of Old Wormley Creek Road and causing wake damage along the creek that the ramp is to be renovated and closed to all boats except row boats, canoes, and kayaks. This is not to happen immediately, but in the near future according to the conversation I had with the director of Parks and Recreation.

So, yes, the interest and attention is there and maybe it will surprise everyone and pass after all............. ;) I would not mind a bit. I would mind if they went for a full bore licensing program as I am against a license for any type of boating.

Here's some past considerations from this past year (don't know if they ever bcame law) and as you have stated it's come up in the past, so if it keeps coming up............ well, you decide. I think it's a given here in the near future.

These were some of the bills that were on the floor as of last year. Now it looks like another bill (HB 1627) going to be looked at this month (actually supposed to be yesterday). (See HB 1627 below these that are posted immediately below - at the end).

HB870 (K. J. Byron) HB1075 (Dudley) Boating safety course. Requires courts to order any person who has been convicted of violating a boating law that imposes a penalty of a Class 3 misdemeanor or greater to pass a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators approved boating safety course, accepted by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. {Class 3 and above are pretty serious violations.}

HB872 (K. J. Byron) Mandatory boating safety education; penalty. Makes it a Class 4 misdemeanor for anyone to operate a motorboat without having successfully completed an approved boating safety education course. The education requirement is phased-in so that by July 1, 2015, all motorboat operators will have been required to complete and pass the course or an equivalency exam. The Board is directed to develop and administer the mandatory boating safety education program through the promulgation of regulations, taking into account comments from the public. There are a number of ways a person can comply with the law other than successfully completing an approved course, such as passing an equivalency examination, possessing a valid license issued to maritime personnel, etc.

SB 528 Mandatory boating safety education; penalty Same as HB872 except it only applies to Smith Mountain Lake. The bill sets a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour on Smith Mountain Lake between sunset and sunrise.

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For consideration January 10, 2007:

HOUSE BILL NO. 1627
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled September 27, 2006
A BILL to amend and reenact § 29.1-748 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 29.1-735.2, relating to boating safety education requirements; civil penalty.
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Patrons-- Byron and Dudley
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Committee Referral Pending
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 29.1-748 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 29.1-735.2 as follows:
§ 29.1-735.2. Boating safety education required; Board to promulgate regulations.
A. No person shall operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth, It is unlawful for any person to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth, unless the operator has met the requirements for boating safety education in accordance with the age provisions established in subsection D.
B. A person shall be considered in compliance with the requirements for boating safety education if the person meets one of the following:
1. Completes and passes a boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and accepted by the Department;
2. Passes a proctored equivalency examination that tests the knowledge of information included in the curriculum of an approved course;
3. Possesses a valid license to operate a vessel issued to maritime personnel by the United States Coast Guard or a marine certificate issued by the Canadian government;
4. Possesses a state-approved nonrenewable temporary operator's permit certificate to operate a motorboat for 90 days that was issued with the certificate of number for the motorboat, if the boat is new or was sold with a transfer of ownership;
5. Possesses a rental or lease agreement from a motorboat rental or leasing business, which lists the person as the authorized operator of the motorboat;
6. Operates the motorboat under supervised training;
7. Demonstrates that he is not a resident, is temporarily using the waters of Virginia for a period not to exceed 90 days, and meets any applicable boating safety education requirements of the state of residency, or possesses a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card; or
8. Has assumed operation of the motorboat due to the illness or physical impairment of the initial operator, and is returning the motorboat to shore in order to provide assistance or care for the operator.
C. The Board shall promulgate regulations by July 1, 2008, to implement a mandatory boating safety education program for all motorboat and personal watercraft operators to meet boating safety education requirements.
D. Such regulations shall include provisions that phase-in the requirements for boating safety education according to the following:
1. Personal watercraft operators 20 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2009;
2. Personal watercraft operators 35 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2010;
3. Personal watercraft operators 50 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2011;
4. All personal watercraft operators, regardless of age, to meet the requirements by July 1, 2012;
5. Motorboat operators 20 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2011;
6. Motorboat operators 30 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2012;
7. Motorboat operators 40 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2013;
8. Motorboat operators 45 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2014;
9. Motorboat operators 50 years of age or younger to meet the requirements by July 1, 2015;
10. All motorboat operators, regardless of age, to meet the requirements by July 1, 2016.
E. Such regulations may include, but not be limited to, provisions for compliance, statewide availability of NASBLA-approved courses including through the Internet, the issuance of certificates to document successful course completion, duplicate certificates, record keeping, requirements for course providers, instructor certification, student name and address changes, equivalency exam criteria, requirements for motorboat rental and leasing businesses, issuance of a temporary operator's permit, certificate and the establishment of fees (not to exceed the cost of giving such instruction for each person participating in and receiving the instruction) for boating safety courses and certificates.
F. The Board shall consult and coordinate with the boating public, professional organizations for recreational boating safety, and the boating business community in the promulgation of such regulations.
G. Any person who operates a motorboat on the waters of the Commonwealth shall, upon the request of a law-enforcement officer, present to the officer evidence that he has complied with subsection B.
H. Any person who violates any provision of this section or any regulation promulgated hereunder shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $250. All civil penalties assessed under this section shall be deposited in the Motorboat and Water Safety Fund of the Game Protection Fund and used as provided for in § 29.1-701.

§ 29.1-748. Restrictions on operation; penalty.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
1. Operate a personal watercraft unless he is at least sixteen years of age, except any person fourteen or fifteen years of age shall be allowed to operate a personal watercraft if he (i) has successfully completed a boating safety education course approved by the Director and (ii) carries on his person, while operating a personal watercraft, proof of successful completion of such course. Upon the request of a law-enforcement officer, such person shall provide proof of having successfully completed an approved course;
2. Operate a personal watercraft unless he has complied with the provisions of § 29.1-735.2, regarding board regulations for mandatory boating safety education.
3. Operate a personal watercraft unless each person riding on the personal watercraft is wearing a type I, type II, type III, or type V personal flotation device approved by the United States Coast Guard;
34. Fail to attach the lanyard to his person, clothing, or personal flotation device, if the personal watercraft is equipped with a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch;
45. Operate a personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth between sunset and sunrise;
5.6 Operate a personal watercraft while carrying a number of passengers in excess of the number for which the craft was designed by the manufacturer; or
67. Operate a personal watercraft in excess of the slowest possible speed required to maintain steerage and headway within fifty feet of docks, piers, boathouses, boat ramps, people in the water, and vessels other than personal watercraft. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a personal watercraft from towing a person with a rope less than fifty feet in length.
B. A violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.
C. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a personal watercraft, nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any such civil action, nor shall this section bar any claim which otherwise exists.
2. That the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries shall submit the proposed and final regulations authorized under the provisions of this act to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources and the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources at the same time such regulations are submitted to the Virginia Register, so that the Committees may exercise their oversight responsibilities pursuant to § 2.2-4014 of the Code of Virginia.

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It may be interesting.......... it may not......... :D
 

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always somthing

I think it is a great idea for everyone to have to take some type of course. The problem is the people who will try to push this through are not as interested in your safety as much as they are trying to find another way to tax and license us to death. Before its over, you will be required to take the course and buy a license, which will probably increase on a yearly basis. The politicians will latch on to anything for a fee. Just my opinion!!!!
 

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I took my boaters safety course from the USCG aux. about 8 or 9 years ago, 1 year before I bought my first boat. ;) What I wonder is will there be a time limit (i.e. drivers lic) or is it a one time thing???

Mark
1999 Sportcraft 230 C/C
 

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So do you think it should be necessary for someone in a john boat with an electric motor in a farm pond 100 yards in diameter to take a boater safety course? That is what the above legislation would require.

Who is going to give the proctored test?

One would hope that they are available 5 1/2 days a week state wide. None of that is clear. The hunter safety course is available locally (if you call a 1 hour drive local) 3 or 4 times a year. Who is going to pay for the infrastructure to give the tests? The fees will have to be pretty high if they are going to have offices in all of the localities state wide.

How much do you think that course is going to cost once it is mandated?

The on line course should be free but the bill does not say so. I doubt that the CG Aux volunteers will have the staffing to teach all the folks that will be taking the class were it mandated. The classroom courses most certainly will cost a pretty penny if they are not given by the CG volunteers. It would not surprise me if a market full of "get them through the doors" companies will spring up.

I support folks taking a CG safety course, but I do not support the above legislation as written. IMHO at most the legislature should task DGIF to come up with a real plan and program including costs and funding sources before they make it mandatory.

If we want to slowly cut back on the number of boaters out there, we should support this bill. If we want to put impediments in the way of our son's and daughters getting into boating and fishing, we should support the bill.

Tom

PS Don sarcasm hat. . . Do you know that in Germany you have to take a test on how to fish, etc. before you can get a fishing license. Is that next for us?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So do you think it should be necessary for someone in a john boat with an electric motor in a farm pond 100 yards in diameter to take a boater safety course? That is what the above legislation would require.

Who is going to give the proctored test?

How much do you think that course is going to cost once it is mandated?

If we want to slowly cut back on the number of boaters out there, we should support this bill. If we want to put impediments in the way of our son's and daughters getting into boating and fishing, we should support the bill.

Tom

PS Don sarcasm hat. . . Do you know that in Germany you have to take a test on how to fish, etc. before you can get a fishing license. Is that next for us?
Tom,

I'm sure all your rhetorical questions will be answered at some distant time in the future. I posted that this was a consideration a while back with reference to the documents and a note saying that public input was being solicited. This is nothing really new. Everyone sort of sluffed it off then. Now they've already met and there's a big discussion going on. :p

To answer some of what I understand to be the correct information the test would not be required of someone on a pond as in your scenario because he's on private land.

The proctored test would (maybe could when it comes to DGIF) be done by the USCG Aux and the US Power Squadron and the state's DGIF.

Course at present is $30 and that's for the materials. (Note: Take the course now and that's what it will cost because it is supposed to be grandfathered......... Take it later and you never know). Heard that courses taken in the last 5 years or so will also be honored as they are on record with the testing agencies (USGC and USPS).

Some states already have this type of legislation. So, a precedent's been set by others. In fact, the NJ folks have something already that looks very familiar to what is proposed here from what I remember when I looked it up. Suppose there is a connection??

And then of course we'll have to take the fishing test to get a license. Why not? The hunters have to take a firearm safety course. After they wouldn't want us to cut ourslves or anyone else with the bait knife............ :rolleyes:
 

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Many states already have a Boating Safety Education Requirement In Maryland, the law states that anyone born on or after July 1, 1972, must possess a certificate of boating safety education in order to operate any motorized vessel. This certificate is non-renewable and must be carried by the student at all times while operating a vessel. Officers may or may not ask to see the certificate during a vessel check and, if not provided, you can be charged with a minimum of $25 for the first offense and up to $500 for each offense thereafter
 

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In Maryland, the course is given at many of the community colleges. It’s a 12-hour course and the cost is $40.
 

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Sandtiger.

This is what the proposed code says.

"A. No person shall operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth, It is unlawful for any person to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on the waters of the Commonwealth, unless the operator has met the requirements for boating safety education in accordance with the age provisions established in subsection D."

There is no exception for private property. There is not exemption for small lakes. Besides that you still have small public lakes, and neighborhood lakes in addition to my example of a farm pond. My point is that there should be some minimum horse power below which no certificate is required unless the boat exceeds some minimum weight, i.e. 1500 to 2000 pounds, to cover sailboats).

If it went to the local community college for $40 that would be a reasonable cost, but it is not clear if that is going to happen or not.

Years ago you got your practical driver safety training when you were in highschool. It was free, i.e. paid for by the city/state. Now that is not an option. Your kids have to take their practical training with a "professional" driver training school.

In my opinion they should send DGIF back to come up with the rules prior to instuting the anything. Then everyone knows what we collectively are getting into.

Tom
 

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I Vote Yes !!!!!!!

I took my ( Boating Skill & seamanship) class years ago at western branch dsl.People operating any POWERED device that can hurt of kill somebody should be required by law take a safety/skills test.And maybe we should require some 'hands on' training/testing as well. Thanks for the info Gary.Still using the tide log.This time (2007 log)I had them send me extra blank paper so its not so busy with reports.
Bring on the license!!!!!!!!!!!:D
 

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Main impetus for these bills was the incident at Smith Mountain lake summer 2005 when a drunk marina owner ran down a couple in a cruiser at high speed at night and killed the couple. Apparently Smith Mountain lake is worse than I-64 on Friday afternoon. We all may pay for that incident. By the way, the drunk driver is headed for jail.
 

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I don't mind having to take a test. A SIMPLE test would be more than alot of boaters could handle. I don't have the time or desire to take some damn class. Let the new yahoos take it as an option. People who have put in their time on the water don't need it.
 

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jwas, you are right about smith mnt lake, I used to have a place up there, a mad house on the weekends with alot of people out there that didn't have a clue!
 

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I'm in favor of mandatory training. And I'm generally in favor of licensing, if that is what it takes to get the idiots, the ignorant, the scofflaws, and the drunks off the water. (Although I will admit that it hasn't worked very well on land..)

The points raised by Tom above are quite valid. Legislation written by people who are ignorant of all the issues involved.

Every time I am on the water I put this at risk:



So, I try to act accordingly.

Brian
 
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