New Boat Operator Card Required for People Between the Age of 12 and 20 for 2008 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Boat Operator Card Required for People Between the Age of 12 and 20 for 2008

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Many people will head down to Columbia River for boating season.     

There are new laws requiring certain boat operators to obtain a certification card.  The law was pasted in 2005.  It forces anyone between the ages of 12 to 20 to pass a boater safety class either online or in the classroom.

Lawmakers are trying to reduce the number of boating accidents.

There are phasing in the new course requirement.  In 2008, anyone driving a boat between the age of 12 and 20 needs to obtain the card, in 2009 anyone between the age of 12 and 25 needs to pass the boater education course.

State Officials with the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission said that anyone born before January 1st, 1955 does not need the card at all.     

Lawmakers feel that boaters who take the class are less likely to get into an accident.

The card is for any water craft of 15 horsepower or more.  Once the boater passes they course they need to pay ten dollars for the card.

In the class boaters will be tested on boat handling, safety equipment, navigational rules and boating emergencies.

The card lasts a lifetime. State leaders stress that it's a certification not a license.

If you are caught without the proper card it could cost you 101 dollars.

For more information go to www.parks.wa.gov/boating or call 360-586-6590.

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