HB 0217 Watercraft Provisions
Sponsor:FRANKLIN Handling House Bill:MCKENNA
Committee:CONS LR Number:S0101.12T
Last Action:05/25/95 - Signed by Governor (w/EC)
Title:SS/SCS/HCS/HB 217
Effective Date:August 28, 1995
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Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/HCS/HB 217- This act contains provisions pertaining to watercraft.

POLICE PROCEDURES - Coroner and medical examiner reports from vessel accidents shall go to the State Water Patrol. Watercraft livery records shall be made available to any law enforcement officer.

REGISTRATION, TRANSFERS - In-lieu watercraft taxes must be paid to get a certificate of number. Registration decals shall be used in place of registration numbers. A one-time temporary certificate of number may be issued for a 30-day period for vessels and outboard motors. Vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard need not have a state number. Notices of the transfer of vessels and motors shall be filed by the new owner instead of the previous owner. All in-lieu taxes shall be appropriated for use by the state water patrol. Penalty provisions are detailed.

VESSEL SAFETY - No person shall operate or position a vessel to obstruct or impede the flow of traffic on the lakes of this state. No child under 14 shall operate a motorboat without adult supervision. A speed limit of 30 mph is imposed for specific lakes and rivers between 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise the following day. Adequate guard railings are defined as 6 to 18 inches. Red or orange flags must be displayed when an person enters the water from a vessel.

CRIMES - Leaving the scene of a vessel accident is made a crime. The penalty is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class D felony if the operator has a prior violation or if the accident resulted in physical injury to another person.

PERSONAL WATERCRAFT - Operators of jet skis and similar boats must take certain safety precautions: personal flotation devices must be worn; any available cutoff switch must be used; and operation shall be reasonable and prudent. The 14 year minimum age requirement becomes effective September 1, 1997.

NOISE - Sound limits of 90 dB(A) as prescribed by SAE J2005 are imposed on operators and manufacturers of motorboats manufactured after January 1, 1996. The current law of 86 decibels on an A-weighted scale as prescribed by SAE J34 will remain in effect for motorboats manufactured prior to January 1, 1996. Various requirements for manufacturers and dealers of new motorboats are detailed. No muffler may be modified in such a manner as to violate the sound limits detailed in section 306.147. Pacing, prototype and repair exceptions are detailed. The state water patrol shall enforce these provisions and shall be trained accordingly. Infraction penalty provisions are detailed.

DOCKS - A person is guilty of an infraction and subject to a fine of between $25 and $100 if he or she abandon a boat dock and permit it to float freely upon any Missouri waters. The court may impose costs.

The State Water Patrol is authorized to accept gifts, grants, in-kind services and appropriations, and may enter into contracts with public or private entities.

LIENS - Workers on vessels and outboard motors shall have a lien for the amount of work and materials expended. After three months of non-payment, a towing or storage lienholder may apply for certificate of title if the lien is not paid within 45 days after notification.

TOWING - Vessels and outboard motors may be towed in several situations: (1) when unattended for 48 hours and obstructing traffic; (2) when illegally obstructing traffic; (3) when stolen; and (4) when the operator is arrested and taken into custody. The owner must pay reasonable towing and storage costs, or the towing company can eventually get ownership. RONALD J. LEONE