Senator Lindsey Williams

Harrisburg, Pa. − June 11, 2024  − Today, Senator Lindsey M. Williams’ Senate Bill 976 passed through the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee by a vote of 10-1. This legislation will allow the Fish and Boat Commission to promulgate rules that require boating safety education for users of electric motored personal watercraft like efoils and jetboards, bringing Pennsylvania law in line with U.S. Coast Guard regulations. The bill now advances to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

“With the growing market of motorized personal watercraft available now, combined with statewide efforts to restore our waterways and reconnect to our riverfronts, more and more people are enjoying time on the water every year,” said Senator Williams. “I’m excited to see the Senate take a step towards implementing these updates, which will help keep everyone safe as they enjoy Pennsylvania’s endless opportunities for water and river recreation.”

SB976 will require boating safety education to operate personal watercraft and for individuals born on or after January 1, 1982 to operate boats greater than 25 horsepower. It does not apply to personal watercraft such as motorized kayaks, canoes, or other vessels where the person is sitting or standing within the hull, or boats with motors of 25 horsepower or less.

In addition, this legislation updates outdated language within Title 30. It also permits the digital distribution of boating safety education materials, since about 90% of these courses are taught online now.

Senator Williams serves on the Game and Fisheries Committee and as a Member of the Port of Pittsburgh Board of Commissioners.

You can see Senator Williams’ full remarks here.

Attached photo shows Senator Williams with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Law Enforcement Officers. Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus.