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Senator Lindsey M. Williams’ boating safety legislation is moving forward through the Senate Committee

Senator Lindsey Williams

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania − June 11, 2024 − Today, Senator Lindsey M. Williams’ Senate Bill 976 passed the Senate Hunting and Fisheries Committee on a 10-1 vote. This legislation will allow the Fish and Boat Commission to issue rules requiring boating safety education for users of electric motorized watercraft such as efoils and jetboards, bringing Pennsylvania law into compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The bill now heads to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

“With the growing market of motorized watercraft now available, combined with statewide efforts to restore our waterways and reconnect with our riverfronts, more and more people are enjoying time on the water each year,” said Senator Williams . “I’m glad to see the Senate taking a step toward implementing these updates, which will help keep everyone safe while enjoying Pennsylvania’s endless opportunities for water and river recreation.”

SB976 will require boating safety education to operate personal watercraft and for persons born on or after January 1, 1982 to operate boats over 25 horsepower. It does not apply to personal watercraft such as motorized kayaks, canoes, or other vessels where the person sits or stands in the hull, or boats with engines of 25 horsepower or less.

Additionally, this legislation updates outdated language within Title 30. It also allows for the digital distribution of boat safety educational materials, as approximately 90% of these courses are now taught online.

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

You can view Senator Williams’ full remarks here.

Attached photo shows Senator Williams with law enforcement officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Photo credit: Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus.

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