SB 0444 Revises various sections regarding watercraft law from floatation devices to powers of the Water Patrol officers
LR Number:1803S.01I Fiscal Note:1803-01
Last Action:03/06/01 - Hearing Conducted S Transportation Committee Journal page:
Effective Date:Varies
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Current Bill Summary

SB 444 - This act pertains to watercraft regulations.

FAILURE TO REGISTER A VESSEL - Currently, the Director of Revenue is authorized to impose a penalty or cancel registration for failure to register a documented vessel or for selling a documented vessel without a certificate of registration. Under this act, such a penalty or cancellation can apply to vessels documented prior to August 28, 1994, only if the person has received at least a 30 day notice that registration is required.

PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES - The act requires canoes 16 or more feet in length to have at least one type I, II, III, or IV personal flotation device on board for each person. Watercraft 16 or more feet in length must have at least one type IV throwable personal flotation device and at least one type I, II, or III wearable flotation device for each person on board and each person being towed who is not wearing one. Watercraft less than 16 feet in length must have at least one type I, II, or III personal flotation device for each person on board. Kayaks, sailboards, racing shells, racing kayaks, and rowing sculls are exempted from some of the flotation device requirements. Type V personal flotation devices may be carried in place of other devices required. Between October 15th and March 15th on the Missouri River, Mississippi River, Corps of Engineers lakes, Lake of the Ozarks, and Thomas Hill Lake occupants of any vessel less that 18 feet in length are required to wear a type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device when the vessel is underway or has the motor running.

TESTING OF BOAT OPERATORS - The chemical analysis of a person's urine may also be used to determine if a person's blood alcohol content is excessive in connection with operating watercraft.

CLOSING OF NAVIGABLE WATERS - This act allows the Water Patrol to temporarily close waters of the state in response to emergencies. A temporary closure of waterways shall be done with the consent of the director or the Department of Public Safety.

BOAT SPEED LIMITS - A vessel operating within 100 feet of any other vessel or person in the water or within 100 feet of docks or piers on any lake or waters of the Missouri or Mississippi rivers is restricted to a speed no greater than a slow-no wake speed.

SKIING ACTIVITY - Any time a watercraft, except personal watercraft, is pulling a person water skiing, tubing, or engaged in similar activity on Missouri lakes, the Missouri River, or the Mississippi River must display a red or orange flag. No person may knowingly operate any watercraft within 100 feet of a flagged vessel at a speed in excess of a slow-no wake speed. Currently, such flag must be used whenever a person leaves a watercraft on waters of Missouri lakes, the Mississippi River, or the Missouri River between the hours of 11 a.m. and sunset and operation around such watercraft is restricted to 50 yards.

BONDING OF WATER PATROL OFFICERS - This act removes the provision which requires Water Patrol officers to be bonded in the same manner as sheriffs. There is an emergency clause for this provision.

WATER PATROL ARREST POWERS - This act also gives State Water Patrol officers arrest powers outside of their jurisdiction in certain circumstances. There is an emergency clause for this provision.