ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Starting May 2014, motor-boaters will have to complete an eight-hour boat safety course and get a certificate to operate on New York waterways.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the boat safety legislation into law on Friday. It will be phased in over several years, applying initially to anyone 18 or younger and eventually to all boaters. First-time violators could get a fine of $100 to $250.
The new law was proposed in the aftermath of fatal boating accidents last year on Long Island and upstate. In the Long Island accident, three children drowned when a cabin cruiser capsized following a July 4th fireworks display. In the other accident, a father and two sons died on Oneida Lake when a boat's driver was distracted by fireworks and hit a channel marker.