Personal watercraft

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 4/14/98.

Legislation was approved establishing a $50 surcharge for a three-year personal watercraft license; the license revenue will be used for enforcement of personal watercraft laws and personal watercraft safety education.

In addition the Legislature adopted the following restrictions:
• Limits usage between 9:30 a.m. and one hour before sunset.
• Restricts usage at greater than slow-no wake speed within 150 feet of a shoreline, dock, a raft used for swimming or diving, and a moored or anchored boat.
• Prohibits persons less than 13 years old from obtaining a safety certificate and operating a personal watercraft; and
• Specifies a person 13 years of age operating a personal watercraft must remain within the visual observation of an observer at least 21 years of age. Also, persons 13 to 18 years of age must take a personal watercraft education course.

"This bill is a perfect example of a few irresponsible people spoiling the sport for the majority," Fischbach and Stang said. "Some legislators wanted restrictions placed on smaller lakes. However, local residents can go to their local government entities (county, city or township) and have stricter language law enforcement drawn up and enforced," Stang said.

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