Boating is often regarded as an adventure on the open water. It offers a sense of freedom, relaxation, or even escape from everyone and everything in everyday life.
However, both boat owners and non-boat owners know that the joys of boating come with specific responsibilities that mainly pertain to the safety of all those who sail.
In recent reports, according to the flsenate.gov website, Senate Bill 30 was passed to enhance boating safety, aiming to make water sports safer for everyone.
What people need to learn is that boating comes with some risks. Accidents on the water are not immune —SB 30 mandates boater education for all operators of boats.
It ensures boaters know the safety regulations, rules and boating procedures. This bill also includes penalties for boating under the influence.
Philip Smith, a regular boater, shared his thoughts on this bill.
“I understand what this is about, but I disagree with the standards because other people abuse the power of a boat on water. We get licensed for a reason now. I understand the extra precautions the state is trying to take, but I think this is stupid to be a law,” Smith said.
Only some people need a bill to mandate things after getting licensed. On the bright side, SB 30 brings out some benefits for boating.
SB 30, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle website, is expected to reduce the number of boating accidents and incidents while enhancing the safety of the Sunshine State’s waterways.
SB 30 also aims to reeducate those to raise public awareness about the importance of boating safety.
Jake Murray, who boats as a hobby, sees the benefits of this bill.
“I think reeducating folks is not such a bad idea. Everyone needs a little reminder here and there. I think this bill helps folks in ways they might think it does,” Murray said.
This means that people have no idea what this bill may mean and may help them in the long hall.
SB 30 also requires the DHSMV to issue new or replacement identification cards with a lifetime boating safety identification card symbol to applicants if certain conditions are met.
It also requires a person convicted of some violations regarding boating under the influence to maintain an insurance policy that meets specific requirements.
To get these identification cards, some criteria must be met, such as applicants must complete a state-approved boating safety education course, have a clean boating record, and spread the word within their communities.
Jeffery Kolton, a local resident who enjoys boating, appreciates what SB 30 brings to the boating culture.
“I think to have this symbol on my card is a smart idea. There are some things I would change within this law, but I think overall, the law is the law. I have been boating for many years now and seen some crazy things, so this bill having people take a state-approved test is something that is needed,” Kolton said.
SB 30 is a step forward in promoting boat safety. It demonstrates the state’s commitment to creating safer waters for boaters and the state.
For more information on this bill, please visit https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2024/30.