Florida Senate - 2016                                     SB 644
       By Senator Ring
       29-00359-16                                            2016644__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to boating safety; amending s. 327.39,
    3         F.S.; revising the minimum age to operate personal
    4         watercraft; conforming a provision to changes made by
    5         the act; amending s. 327.395, F.S.; removing the
    6         exemption from the photographic identification and
    7         boating safety identification card requirement for a
    8         person accompanied in the vessel by another person who
    9         meets certain criteria; reenacting s. 327.73(1)(p),
   10         F.S., relating to noncriminal infractions, to
   11         incorporate the amendment made to s. 327.39, F.S., in
   12         a reference thereto; providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Subsections (5) and (6) of section 327.39,
   17  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   18         327.39 Personal watercraft regulated.—
   19         (5) No person under the age of 16 years may 14 shall
   20  operate any personal watercraft on the waters of this state.
   21         (6)(a) It is unlawful for the owner of any personal
   22  watercraft or any person having charge over or control of a
   23  personal watercraft to authorize or knowingly permit the same to
   24  be operated by a person under the age of 16 14 years of age in
   25  violation of this section.
   26         (b)1. It is unlawful for the owner of any leased, hired, or
   27  rented personal watercraft, or any person having charge over or
   28  control of a leased, hired, or rented personal watercraft, to
   29  authorize or knowingly permit the watercraft to be operated by
   30  any person who has not received instruction in the safe handling
   31  of personal watercraft, in compliance with rules established by
   32  the commission.
   33         2. Any person receiving instruction in the safe handling of
   34  personal watercraft pursuant to a program established by rule of
   35  the commission must provide the owner of, or person having
   36  charge of or control over, a leased, hired, or rented personal
   37  watercraft with a written statement attesting to the same.
   38         3. The commission shall have the authority to establish
   39  rules pursuant to chapter 120 prescribing the instruction to be
   40  given, which shall take into account the nature and operational
   41  characteristics of personal watercraft and general principles
   42  and regulations pertaining to boating safety.
   43         (c) Any person who violates this subsection commits a
   44  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
   45  775.082 or s. 775.083.
   46         Section 2. Subsection (6) of section 327.395, Florida
   47  Statutes, is amended to read:
   48         327.395 Boating safety identification cards.—
   49         (6) A person is exempt from subsection (1) if he or she:
   50         (a) Is licensed by the United States Coast Guard to serve
   51  as master of a vessel.
   52         (b) Operates a vessel only on a private lake or pond.
   53         (c) Is accompanied in the vessel by a person who is exempt
   54  from this section or who holds an identification card in
   55  compliance with this section, is 18 years of age or older, and
   56  is attendant to the operation of the vessel and responsible for
   57  the safe operation of the vessel and for any violation that
   58  occurs during the operation of the vessel.
   59         (c)(d) Is a nonresident who has in his or her possession
   60  proof that he or she has completed a boater education course or
   61  equivalency examination in another state which meets or exceeds
   62  the requirements of subsection (1).
   63         (d)(e) Is operating a vessel within 90 days after the
   64  purchase of that vessel and has available for inspection aboard
   65  that vessel a bill of sale meeting the requirements of s.
   66  328.46(1).
   67         (e)(f) Is operating a vessel within 90 days after
   68  completing the requirements of paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph
   69  (1)(b) and has a photographic identification card and a boater
   70  education certificate available for inspection as proof of
   71  having completed a boater education course. The boater education
   72  certificate must provide, at a minimum, the student’s first and
   73  last name, the student’s date of birth, and the date that he or
   74  she passed the course examination.
   75         (f)(g) Is exempted by rule of the commission.
   76         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   77  made by this act to section 327.39, Florida Statutes, in a
   78  reference thereto, paragraph (p) of subsection (1) of section
   79  327.73, Florida Statutes, is reenacted to read:
   80         327.73 Noncriminal infractions.—
   81         (1) Violations of the following provisions of the vessel
   82  laws of this state are noncriminal infractions:
   83         (p) Section 327.39(1), (2), (3), and (5), relating to
   84  personal watercraft.
   86  Any person cited for a violation of any provision of this
   87  subsection shall be deemed to be charged with a noncriminal
   88  infraction, shall be cited for such an infraction, and shall be
   89  cited to appear before the county court. The civil penalty for
   90  any such infraction is $50, except as otherwise provided in this
   91  section. Any person who fails to appear or otherwise properly
   92  respond to a uniform boating citation shall, in addition to the
   93  charge relating to the violation of the boating laws of this
   94  state, be charged with the offense of failing to respond to such
   95  citation and, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the
   96  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
   97  775.083. A written warning to this effect shall be provided at
   98  the time such uniform boating citation is issued.
   99         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.