Proposed bill would put age restriction on who can drive boats

January 26th, 2013 - by DKRPA

Boating accidents are all too common in Florida. That is why a Florida House Representative has proposed a bill that would prevent boating tragedies in the state.

The proposed bill, named Deviny’s Law, would help prevent boating accidents like the one that claimed that life of Deviny Boese. The girl was fatally injured in a boating accident after the innertube she was riding on collided into a dock. The driver of the boat tried to avoid the dock. However, turning the boat did not prevent the tube from crashing into the dock.

The proposed bill would prohibit individuals under the age of 18 from operating a boat towing a person without the presence of an adult. It would also prohibit anyone from operating a boat towing a person to drive within 50 yards of a stationary structure.

The state of Florida recommends that anyone who operates a boat take a boating safety class and continue to refresh their skills by taking classes periodically after that. Despite these recommendations, there is no age restriction in Florida for who can drive a boat.

Current laws in Florida require individuals to be at least 14 years of age before they can operate a personal watercraft or other vessel. Florida law does require individuals to take a boating safety class, which can be done in person or online, if the individual was born on or after January 1, 1988.

Boating accidents happen every year in Florida. Many of them are caused by drunk boat drivers or inexperienced drivers. Safety advocates hope that this bill passes in order to prevent future boating accidents from happening in the future.

Source: WTSP, “New law aims to prevent boating tragedies, like the one that ended 15-year-old Deviny Boese’s life,” Charles Billi, Jan. 24, 2013