Boat Safe in NY, Save Lives. Pass Brianna's Law

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Please help us pass Brianna’s Law in New York State!

Assembly Bill A04853 Senate Bill S03399 

 (Brooks) /  (Jean-Pierre) – An act to amend the navigation law, in relation to enacting Brianna’s Law which requires that operators of mechanically propelled vessels complete an in-classroom boating safety course. 

Tragically, Brianna Lieneck was 11 when she was killed in a boating collision off the coast of Long Island. Her parents were critically injured in this crash as well. Educating these boating operators on the laws will ultimately save lives.

Background / Justification:

This legislation would require individuals to take an in-person boating safety course in order to operate a mechanically propelled vessel on the navigable waters. 

Current law only requires boating classes to be taken by individuals born after May 1, 1996. Boating safety classes can be taken online under current law. Majority of boat owners are middle-aged adults who are not required to take any classes relating to boating. This legislation will require all individuals operating these powerful propelled vessels to take a boating safety course and educate these individuals on the current laws in NYS about boating.

In 12% of accidents between 2005 and 2015, the individuals were required by law to wear personal floatation devices, but were not. In 2016, there were 22 boating fatalities. In 11 of these fatalities, alcohol or drugs were present. Despite the myriad of laws prohibiting drug and alcohol use while boating, individuals are driving these vessels while under the influence.

There are roughly 450,000 registered powerboats in New York.  Regardless of whether you have operated a boat in the past, informed vessel opera-tors will result in safer waterways. All individuals driving a boat must know the laws of the waterways.

I want to thank our bill sponsors, NYS Senator John Brooks and NYS Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre for stepping up and introducing this legislation that will save lives.  

Thank you for your continued support.  

Gina Lieneck, Brianna's Mother