H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N
PROCLAIMING MAY 21 - 26, 2000 AS "SAFE BOATING WEEK IN THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND"
WHEREAS, Recreational boating is an exciting activity enjoyed by many residents of our state. Rhode Islanders are particularly fortunate to have such beautiful and abundant resources to accommodate the wide variety of boating demands. However, our waterways can become extremely crowded and chaotic at times. Because of these crowded conditions, boating can become quite risky to the unprepared boater. It is essential that boaters have a working knowledge of safe boating rules; and
WHEREAS, The National Transportation Safety Board is working with each state throughout the country to implement minimum recreational boating safety standards to reduce the number and severity of accidents. In 1998 alone, there were 8,016 reported boating accidents with 815 fatalities; and
WHEREAS, Our state has made tremendous progress in boating safety. Based on recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board, we have addressed the issue of the mandatory use of personal flotation devices for children by passing a law that all children ten years of age or under must wear a PFD. We have incorporated safe operation of personal watercraft (jet skis) into all of our state boating courses to address the problems with PWC's and to inform operators of the regulations with this particular type of watercraft. We have passed a law that requires any operator of a PWC under the age of 16 to have completed a boating safety education course in order to operate the watercraft without being accompanied by an adult; and
WHEREAS, We have been commended by the Safety Board for our efforts, however, the board still recommends that all boaters demonstrate an understanding of safe boating rules through the completion of a state boating safety education course and operator licensing. We agree with this recommendation and are in the process of passing legislation to require such mandatory education and licensing for all recreational boat operators. The passage of this legislation will be a giant step towards ensuring the safety of both residents and visitors on our waterways; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby supports the efforts of the North American Safe Boating Campaign and the Department of Environmental Management - Division of Enforcement in their efforts to promote boating safety, and do hereby proclaim May 21-26, 2000 as "Rhode Island Safe Boating Week"; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he is hereby authorized and directed to transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management - Division of Enforcement.