Enhance Recreational Boating Safety

NTSB, Nov 02, 2007

In 2006, the Coast Guard reports that of the 710 recreational boating fatalities, 473 were the result of drowning and 89 percent were not wearing personal floatation devices. In 1993 the Board asked the States (Safety Recommendation M-93-1) to consider establishing minimum safety standards, such as mandatory use of PFDs by children, demonstration of operator knowledge of safe boating rules and skills, and operator licensing as methods to reduce the annual number of recreational boating deaths. Only Iowa, Virginia, and Wisconsin still do not require PFDs for children. Fourteen States have yet to require either mandatory education or an operator's license for recreational boat operators.

The Board also asked States (Safety Recommendation M-98-101) to require rental businesses to provide safety instruction and training to all persons who operate rented personal watercraft. Thirteen States have yet to require safety instruction at PWC rental operations.

"The Board's advocacy efforts have been extremely successful. There have been many safety improvements in the States since these recommendations were issued. But as we've seen today, more still needs to be accomplished to make transportation safety a priority for all our citizens. The elected leaders in the States need to make transportation safety a political priority," Rosenker said.

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