Starting January 1, 2018, California boating laws require anyone over the age of 16 to have a boater safety card. And if you are between 12 and 15 years old, you must be supervised by someone who is 18 years or older. Here are 5 reasons why having a boater security card is good, whether your state requires it or not.
1. Boater training saves lives
It makes sense for boaters of all ages to get a boating safety education pass. The safety of the boats reduces water accidents and injuries. In fact, 80% of our states have educational qualifications to drive a boat. The more you know about boat safety, the more fun you will have on the water.
2. It’s about practical knowledge
Taking a boat safety course is different from taking trigonometry in high school. While I don’t have to apply any lessons from the Trig class just yet, I apply the lessons I learned in earning a Boating Safety Certificate right away. Of the 8,000 accidents last year, 70% were operator errors.
3. A boat safety certificate can reduce your insurance premium
Because there are lower prices for drivers of vehicles that are accident-free, there are discounts for those with IDs for boating safety education. Taking a boat safety course will likely save you some money.
4. In some states, it is the law
Every boater must obey the law, and a safe boating lesson is the easiest way to learn the material. Take a boating course online or in a classroom approved by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. The material ranges from preparation for training to chapter quizzes and a final test. Winter is the perfect time for an educational course. Try them out today. Spring is just around the corner and that means we’re preparing our boats for a shakedown cruise!
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.