SB 1036 Modifies watercraft law with respect to personal floatation devices, use of lights, approaching emergency vehicles and other issues
Sponsor: Mayer
LR Number: 4478S.02I Fiscal Note: 4478-02
Committee: Transportation
Last Action: 4/4/2006 - Voted Do Pass S Transportation Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2006

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Current Bill Summary


SB 1036 - This act modifies the definition of the term "Waters of this state" to include waterways. The modification of the definition attempts to make the watercraft laws generally applicable to all types of bodies of water within this state.

The act prohibits vessels from continuously displaying spotlights, docking lights, or other non-prescribed lights that hinder the night vision of other vessel operators.

The act modifies the personal flotation requirements. Under current law, every vessel, except class A vessels, mut have a wearable flotation device on board (type I, II, or II) and one throwable flotation device (type IV). The current law also requires all class A motorboats and watercraft traveling on the waters of this state shall have at least one type I, II, III, or IV personal floatation device. The proposed act eliminates these provisions and instead requires every watercraft to have on board at least one wearable personal floatation device (type I, II, III, or V). Every watercraft shall also have at least one throwable flotation device (type IV) on board (does not apply to class A watercraft, kayaks, sailboards, racing shells, racing canoes and rowing sculls).

The act prohibits vessels from being operated at a speed in excess of slow-no wake speed (idle speed) within 100 feet of any emergency vessel displaying its emergency lights.

The act prohibits persons from operating a vessel in such a manner as to impede the normal flow of traffic on the waters of this state. Currently, this prohibition only applies to vessel operators on lakes.

STEPHEN WITTE