Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

IL Gov. Pat Quinn Approves Stricter Boating Laws


Boating in the Land of Lincoln is hopefully going to become a lot safer. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) recently approved several laws aimed at improving boater safety following the Independence Day holiday, according to a recent Associated Press article.

The laws will take effect in 2015 and include requiring safety courses, creating rules for towing people on water tubes or skis, and imposing stricter boating DUI penalties. This year alone, Illinois state officials have reported 16 boating fatalities on Illinois waterways. With stricter laws in effect, many boating fatalities might be prevented.

"While boating is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, everyone has to take precautions and follow the rules,” Quinn was quoted as saying.

“Boats can weigh thousands of pounds and go 30, 40, 50 miles per hour or more,” state Sen. Julie Morrison, who sponsored the law, said in a statement. “We require people who drive cars to get licenses, it only makes sense to ask people who operate powerful boats to have some safety training.”

The new laws will treat boaters much more like drivers — boaters with three DUI convictions will have their licenses revoked and could have their boats taken away. The laws also will require boaters towing a person to display an orange flag on the boat.

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Photo courtesy Gail M Tang

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