NY state has new boating safety regulation

Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Industry News, News

New York State is reminding boaters of a new regulation that took effect this year. The regulation, commonly known as “Brianna’s law,” requires a boating safety certification for people born after Jan. 1, 1978. This regulation was named for 11-year-old Brianna Lieneck who was killed in a boating accident in 2005.

The law initially went into effect in 2020, requiring all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course, but was phased in over time due to the pandemic. By Jan. 1, 2025, the eight-hour safety course will be mandatory for all operators of motorized vessels, including personal watercraft such as jet skis. Failure to comply with this law could result in a fine between $100 and $250. Furthermore, boating incidents may not be covered by insurance if the operator does not have the proper certification.

Prior to this legislation, there were no safety or licensing requirements for operating watercraft. Like the requirement to carry a driver’s license when driving a motor vehicle, boaters must carry proof they have completed the safety course. People can also have the certification noted on their driver’s license instead of carrying the boating card. Operators of non-motorized boats, such as kayaks, canoes, and sailboats, are not required to have a boating safety certificate currently.