Georgia Boaters Hope New Law Will Increase Safety

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With temperatures climbing, people are making their way to lakes across the area. In Georgia, a new law is coming that will add a step before rookie boaters can get on the water.

"When you're on the water with a boat, lots of things can go wrong when you're not careful, especially with young people," says Mike Dunn, a camper on Lake Seminole. He says he has had some close calls himself.

"You go one direction and next thing you know, you have a skier coming at your boat. It's important to know boat etiquette and the right thing to do."

Knowing the right thing to do is the point of the Kile Glover Boat Education Law. Under the new legislation, starting July 1st, anyone who has turned 16 years old since 1998 must take a boating education course before they can operate any motorized vessel on state waters.

"There's no signs, no red lights, so you have to be careful of what's around you," says Dunn.

In Georgia, personal watercrafts have been involved in 1 in every 5 recreational boating accidents this year. Boaters say the law will give them peace of mind.

"It's just like safety on the road," says Rhonda Snellgrove, who often camps on Lake Seminole with her husband. "When i pass someone, I like to know they've passed some qualifications to get behind the wheel. Water is the same way. I want to feel safe."

In the course, Georgia boaters will learn life jacket safety, rules of navigation, and the dangers of boating under the influence. The law further states that anyone 12 to 15 years old may only operate watercraft if they have an adult 18 or older with them who has completed a boater education course.

To sign your child up for a course in our are, follow the link above.

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