Reacting to a recent boating
accident in New York, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 4642, the Boat
Occupancy and Teaching Act, May 20. There are no co-sponsors and no action is
currently being considered. The bill has been referred to three House
committees: Transportation, Ways and Means and Natural Resources.
H.R. 4642 would require the U.S. Coast Guard to establish the maximum passenger
capacity (in pounds and number of persons) for recreational boats between 20
feet and 45 feet LOA. The placard displaying this information must be posted
within 180 days of the bill’s passage in an area of the boat that’s clearly
visible to boarding passengers and also on the flying bridge of the vessel.
In addition, the bill also would allow a state to enter into a contract with a
local government or private entity to provide recreational boating safety
education and would require a state to spend no less than 5 percent of the federal
amounts it receives from the Sport Fish and Boating Fund.