New state law to strengthen boater safety

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Brianna's Law to strengthen boater safety in New York State.

Posted: Aug 8, 2019 6:32 PM

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Brianna's Law to strengthen boater safety in New York State. The law is named after 11-year-old Brianna Lieneck, who was killed in a boating accident in 2005.

The law will require anyone who operates a motorized watercraft in New York State to complete an 8-hour, state aprroved boating safety course. After the course, boaters must pass a written exam.

The law will phase in requirements for the next five years. By 2025, all motor boat operators, regardless of age, will need to complete the course. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in a find between $100 and $250.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says it's common sense to have the basic knowledge when operating a motorized vehicle.

"We find that the most common injury or fatality as a result of a boating accident are some of the common sense things, such as not wearing a life jacket, speed not reasonable for the conditions of the water," Maciol said.

The first phase of the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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