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New Jersey passes ‘strongest’ boating law

JAN. 27 — The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey announced Thursday that a new bill passed in the state legislature makes the state’s boater education law among the “strongest in the nation.”

The new legislation says that all people age 16 years and older who operate a boat 12 feet or larger must successfully complete a state boating safety course, according to an MTA/NJ news release. The law also allows the Superintendent of State Police to develop an “experienced boater test” so longtime boaters who pass it will not have to also complete the course.

“We believe that an informed boater — one who has completed a standardized boating safety class — is much more likely to be a safe and courteous boater,” MTA/NJ president Tom Leaming says in the statement. “An educated boater will be prepared to follow the rules of the road, making our waterways safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”

The law also requires personal watercraft operators to pass a state boating safety course.

The law does not apply to people renting boats or PWC. The law will not apply to out-of-state boaters, the release says, and will become effective over a staggered period of time. For more information about the new law, go to the association’s Web site and click on “Boaters Click Here.”

Jason Fell