What You Need to Know About New York State’s New Boating Safety Law - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Apr 22, 2020

What You Need to Know About New York State’s New Boating Safety Law

Soon it will officially be summer and the warm weather has you eager to take your motor boat out of storage and get out on the water. As a boat-owner - or perhaps, as someone who just enjoys going out on boats - you may be aware that New York State passed a law in 2019 to help people stay safe out on the water. Whether you’re aware of the law or this is the first time you’re hearing about it, we’ve put together what you need to know to make sure you’re prepared to float safely on the water:

What is the new New York State boating safety law?

The new law or - Brianna’s Law - is a New York State boating safety law that requires all operators of motorized boats to have completed boating safety courses by 2025, regardless of the operator’s age. The boat course must be approved by the Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

When was the New York State boating safety law passed?

Brianna’s Law legislation was signed by Governor Cuomo during the summer of 2019 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Why was Brianna’s Law passed?

Brianna’s Law was passed with the intention of making New York’s waterways safer. The hope is that by requiring all motor boat operators to complete boating safety courses, there will be fewer accidents, and those that do occur will be less tragic.

Why is the New York State boating safety law called “Brianna’s Law?”

Brianna’s Law is named after Brianna Lieneck, an 11-year-old girl who was fatally injured in a boating accident in 2005 when heading home from Fire Island with her family and family friend.  Brianna’s tragic incident motivated the New York State legislature to reexamine current boating practices and make strides towards making our waterways safer.

Who will be affected by Brianna’s Law?

Brianna’s Law will affect everyone who operates a motorized boat in New York State. While previous laws only required those born after 1996 to complete a boating safety course, Brianna’s Law clearly indicates that age is irrelevant. If you plan to operate a motorized boat, you must complete a boating safety course. This also includes canoes and small Jon Boats that have electric motors and are considered motorized crafts.

What should I do to be compliant with Brianna’s Law?

If you plan to own and/or operate a motorized boat, you should complete a boating safety course, as required by New York State’s Brianna’s Law. Completing a boating safety law will ensure you’re abiding by the law and help you better understand best practices when it comes to safely operating a motorized boat.

Where do I take a boating safety course?

Boating safety courses are offered at various times and locations throughout the state. To find a time and location convenient for you, click here. New York State also offers the convenience of obtaining the certification online. Click here to view and complete the official online New York boating safety course.

When do I need to take a New York State boating safety course?

In accordance with Brianna’s Law, all motorized boat operators must have completed a New York State boating safety course by January 1, 2025 or sooner, depending on the year you were born. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to start developing good habits and get your boating safety certificate for the summer ahead!

Protecting yourself and others also means ensuring that your motorized boat is properly insured. Click on the button below to find an agent and discuss coverage options for you and your boat.