Oklahoma Stiffens Rules for Young Boaters

Published online: Jun 11, 2006 News Soundings Trade Only News
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Oklahoma lawmakers passed a bill to enhance safety for young boaters and personal watercraft users.


The Kyle Williams Boating Safety Act was proposed in response to the death of a 12-year-old boy who was killed in a personal watercraft accident in 2004.


The bill places certain stipulations on anyone under 16 operating a vessel with a motor in excess of 10 hp or any sailboat more than 16 feet long.


The bill requires children between the ages of 12 and 16 to complete a boater safety education course. And they must be accompanied by an adult while operating such vessels.


Children between the ages of 12 and 16 must be supervised by an adult within a visual distance of 500 yards in order to operate a personal watercraft.


Today, Oklahoma law requires a person to be at least 12 years old to operate a jet ski or boat, but there are no additional educational requirements.


The bill awaits the signature of Gov. Brad Henry.

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