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February 2nd, 2012, 07:56 PM
New legislation prompts more outdoors education
HOUSTON CHRONICLE http://analytics.apnewsregistry.com/analytics/v2/image.svc/chron/RWS/chron.com/CVI/7/CAI/2533861/E/prod/AT/HL Copyright 2012 HOUSTON CHRONICLE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. (http://www.fishwestend.com/forum/admincp/#license-4f2b2f9902dac) Updated 11:33 p.m., Sunday, January 15, 2012
A pair of recent changes in Texas boating laws mean increasing numbers of the state's million-plus recreational boaters will be required to take an approved boater education course while fewer will fall under a legal mandate to report boating-related accidents. Under changes adopted by the Texas Legislature during its 2011 session, persons born on or after Sept. 1, 1993, and operating a personal watercraft, a boat powered by a motor of more than 15-horsepower or a wind-blown vessel measuring more than 14 feet must have passed a state-approved boater education course and carry identification and proof of having passed the boater education course while operating those boats. [...] the Legislature modified requirements for reporting boating accidents, upping from $500 to $2,000 the minimum property damage, triggering mandatory reporting and making it easier for boat operators involved in an accident to report the incident. Texas law has long required a boat operator involved in an accident resulting in a death, physical injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid or $500 or more in damage to the boat or other property to complete an accident report within 30 days of the incident and submit that report to TPWD. A change in the law governing this reporting may help this situation, resulting in a higher rate of reporting of boating accidents which will give boating safety officials a better understanding of what causes accidents, which type of accidents are the most common and how they might be prevented.




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