Senator Lindsey M. Williams’s boating safety legislation is advancing through a Senate committee

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – June 11, 2024 − Today, Senator Lindsey M. Williams Senate Bill No. 976 passed the Senate Game and Fish Committee by a 10-to-1 majority. This legislation would allow the Fish and Boat Committee to promulgate regulations requiring boating safety education for users of personal electric watercraft such as efoils and jet boards, aligning the law Pennsylvania to U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The bill now goes to a vote in the full Senate.

“Thanks to the growing market for motorized personal watercraft available today, coupled with statewide efforts to restore the health of our waterways and reconnect them to our riverbanks, more and more people enjoy spending time on the water each year,” said Senator Williams. “I am thrilled that the Senate is taking a step toward implementing these updates, which will help keep everyone safe while enjoying Pennsylvania’s endless water and river recreation opportunities.”

SB976 would require boating safety education for operating personal watercraft and, for those born on or after January 1, 1982, for operating boats with more than 25 horsepower. This does not apply to personal watercraft such as motorized kayaks, kayaks or other watercraft in which a person sits or stands in the hull, or boats with an engine of 25 horsepower or less.

Additionally, this legislation updates archaic language in Title 30. It also authorizes the digital distribution of boating safety educational materials, as approximately 90% of these courses are now delivered online.

Senator Williams serves on the Game and Fishing Committee and is a member of the Port of Pittsburgh Board of Commissioners.

You can view Senator Williams’ full remarks here Here.

The attached photo shows Senator Williams with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission enforcement officers. Photo credit: Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus.


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