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New Florida Boating Law

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According to an AP story, law enforcement officials will soon start increasing the enforcement of a new Florida boating law that recently went into effect. Most people don’t know about the new law and you probably don’t want to get caught by surprise. Fines will range from fifty to eighty dollars. The new law requires Florida boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 to take and pass a state approved boating education course in order to pilot any vessel with 10 or more horsepower. The new law also applies to non-Florida residents with a few exceptions like those with a USCG Master’s license. More and more people will be affected every year since it is tied to a specific date and not an age. Being an avid boater all my life, I believe this will go a long way towards improving boating safety. It won’t end all the boat accidents out on the water but I have to believe that if more people understood the basic right of way rules – we would all be better off. Driving a boat is not like driving a car and some people shouldn’t even be driving a car. Biggest difference is that boats don’t have brakes. Let’s be safe out there on the water and don’t forget all your required safety equipment. If you can’t swim, wear a USCG approved life vest.

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