REPORT TITLE:
Thrill Craft Education


DESCRIPTION:
Implements mandatory education and other measures recommended by
the Thrill Craft Advisory Committee.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                        
THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           1454
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO PERSONAL WATERCRAFT. 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that safety education and
 
 2 the establishment of training requirements for personal
 
 3 watercraft operators, as well as proposed rules for areas of
 
 4 thrill craft operations, are necessary to maintain the integrity
 
 5 of this recreational activity.  The purpose of this Act is to
 
 6 implement the mandatory education and other related measures
 
 7 recommended by the Thrill Craft Advisory Committee which was
 
 8 appointed by the chairperson of land and natural resources in
 
 9 response to Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 128, Session Laws of
 
10 Hawaii 1998.
 
11      SECTION 2.  Chapter 200, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
12 by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to
 
13 read as follows:
 
14      "200-     Mandatory education for owners of recreational
 
15 personal watercraft.  (a)  The board of land and natural
 
16 resources shall establish a safety education course which shall
 
17 be required for all users of personal watercraft used for
 
18 recreation.  The required course shall include, as a minimum:
 
19      (1)  A written test on the minimum standards for boating
 

 
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 1           safety education for personal watercraft approved by
 
 2           the National Association of State Boating Law
 
 3           Administrators;
 
 4      (2)  A state-specific addendum addressing local sea
 
 5           conditions, customs, courtesies, traditions, and
 
 6           restricted areas within the waters of the State; and
 
 7      (3)  A practical test of the user's capability to operate a
 
 8           personal watercraft.
 
 9      (b)  After January 1, 2001, evidence of successful
 
10 completion of the required course by the personal watercraft
 
11 owner shall be required to obtain registration and numbering of a
 
12 personal watercraft under section 200-31; provided that a
 
13 temporary certificate of a registration number may be issued to
 
14 the owner of a personal watercraft for a period of not more than
 
15 ninety days to allow the owner to complete the required course
 
16 and be certified for personal watercraft operation.
 
17      (c)  A person showing evidence of successful completion of
 
18 an approved personal watercraft safety education course issued by
 
19 another state or other organization shall be exempt from the
 
20 written test on the personal watercraft safety course, but the
 
21 person shall be required to successfully complete the test on the
 
22 state-specific course addendum, and the practical test of
 
23 personal watercraft operational capability.
 

 
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 1      (d)  The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91
 
 2 to further implement this section.
 
 3      200-     Personal flotation device required for personal
 
 4 watercraft occupants.  All occupants of a personal watercraft,
 
 5 including a person being towed by a personal watercraft, shall
 
 6 wear a personal flotation device conforming to the impact
 
 7 resistance requirements established by the United States Coast
 
 8 Guard, except for persons authorized to operate in high surf
 
 9 conditions, or persons operating patrol or rescue craft, or as
 
10 otherwise provided by the department."
 
11      SECTION 3.  Section 200-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
12 amended by adding a definition to be appropriately inserted and
 
13 to read as follows:
 
14      ""Personal watercraft" means every description of vessel
 
15 which:
 
16      (1)  Is generally less than thirteen feet as manufactured;
 
17      (2)  Uses an internal combustion engine powering a water jet
 
18           pump as its primary source of motive propulsion;
 
19      (3)  Has a ratio of maximum speed to length of three and
 
20           one-half or more to one;
 
21      (4)  Is maneuvered by rotating the water jet pump while
 
22           under power, rather than by use of a rudder; and
 
23      (5)  Can be operated by a single operator, but may have the
 

 
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 1           capacity to carry passengers while in operation.
 
 2 The term includes, but is not limited to, every description of
 
 3 vessel that is designed to be operated by a person or persons
 
 4 sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the
 
 5 vessel."
 
 6      SECTION 4.  Section 200-23, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 7 amended by repealing the definition of "thrill craft".
 
 8      [""Thrill craft" means any motorized vessel that falls into
 
 9 the category of personal watercraft, and which:
 
10      (1)  Is generally less than thirteen feet in length as
 
11           manufactured;
 
12      (2)  Is generally capable of exceeding a speed of twenty
 
13           miles per hour;
 
14      (3)  Can be operated by a single operator, but may have the
 
15           capacity to carry passengers while in operation; or
 
16      (4)  Is designed to provide similar operating performance as
 
17           a personal watercraft through a combination of small
 
18           size, power plant, and hull design.
 
19 The term includes, but is not limited to, a jet ski, waverunner,
 
20 wet bike, surf jet, miniature speed boat, hovercraft, and every
 
21 description of vessel which uses an internal combustion engine
 
22 powering a water jet pump as its primary source of motive
 
23 propulsion, and is designed to be operated by a person or persons
 

 
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 1 sitting, standing, or kneeling on, or being towed behind the
 
 2 vessel."]
 
 3      SECTION 5.  Section 200-24, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 4 amended to read as follows:
 
 5      "[[]200-24[]]  Rules.  The department shall adopt rules
 
 6 pursuant to chapter 91 to implement the policy and purpose of
 
 7 this part, and to classify vessels into appropriate categories
 
 8 and classes.
 
 9      The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 with
 
10 respect to the following:
 
11      (1)  The registration and numbering of vessels;
 
12      (2)  The operation, use, and equipment of vessels on or in
 
13           the waters of the State;
 
14      (3)  The conduct of persons involved in boating accidents
 
15           and in the reporting of accidents and other casualties
 
16           and losses to the department; and
 
17      (4)  The designation of areas of the waters of the State and
 
18           time periods during which [thrill craft] personal
 
19           watercraft may be operated, and waters on or above
 
20           which, and time periods during which, persons may
 
21           engage in parasailing, commercial high speed boating,
 
22           and water sledding; provided that in designating the
 
23           areas, the department shall use the official
 

 
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 1           recommendation of the National Marine Fisheries Service
 
 2           with regard to the protection of protected marine life
 
 3           and habitats in adopting rules to implement this
 
 4           section, except as otherwise provided by law."
 
 5      SECTION 6.  Section 200-25, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 6 amended to read as follows:
 
 7      "200-25  Fines and penalties.  (a)  Any person violating
 
 8 this part, or any rule adopted pursuant to this part, shall be
 
 9 fined not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 or sentenced to
 
10 a term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days, or both, for
 
11 each violation; provided that in addition to, or as a condition
 
12 to the suspension of, the fines and penalties, the court may
 
13 deprive the offender of the privilege of operating any vessel,
 
14 including but not limited to any [thrill craft] personal
 
15 watercraft or vessel engaged in parasailing or water sledding, in
 
16 the waters of the State for a period of not more than thirty
 
17 days[.] for a first offense, and for a period of not more than
 
18 one year for an offense which occurs within one year of a prior
 
19 conviction under this part.
 
20      (b)  In any proceeding for violation of any statute or rule
 
21 relating to the operation of a personal watercraft, the
 
22 registered owner of the personal watercraft, as evidenced by the
 
23 state registration number, shall be held fully responsible for
 

 
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 1 the violation, including the payment of all fines and penalties,
 
 2 regardless of the identity of the operator; provided that the
 
 3 registered owner may present competent evidence that the vessel
 
 4 was sold, transferred, or stolen, at the time of the violation,
 
 5 in which case the operator shall be held responsible."
 
 6      SECTION 7.  Section 200-37, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 7 amended as follows:
 
 8      1.  By amending the title and subsection (a) to (c) to read:
 
 9      "200-37  Operation of [thrill craft;] personal watercraft;
 
10 parasailing; water sledding; commercial high speed boating.  (a)
 
11 No person shall operate a [thrill craft] personal watercraft
 
12 unless the person is fifteen years of age or older.
 
13      (b)  The department shall adopt rules to designate areas
 
14 where, and time periods during which, [thrill craft] personal
 
15 watercraft may be operated and parasailing, water sledding, and
 
16 commercial high speed boating may be engaged in.
 
17      (c)  No person shall operate a [thrill craft] personal
 
18 watercraft in the waters of the State, except:
 
19      (1)  In areas and during time periods designated by the
 
20           department; and
 
21      (2)  Through areas designated by the department to serve as
 
22           avenues for the ingress and egress of [thrill craft]
 
23           personal watercraft between the areas designated under
 

 
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 1           paragraph (1) and the shore."
 
 2      2.  By amending subsection (g) to read:
 
 3      "(g)  During all weekends and state and federal holidays, no
 
 4 commercial operator shall operate a [thrill craft,] personal
 
 5 watercraft, or engage in parasailing, water sledding, or
 
 6 commercial high speed boating, or operate a motor vessel towing a
 
 7 person engaged in water sledding or parasailing in Maunalua Bay
 
 8 on Oahu as provided for in section 200-38."
 
 9      3.  By amending subsections (i) and (j) to read:
 
10      "(i)  Between December 15 and May 15 of each year, no person
 
11 shall operate a [thrill craft,] personal watercraft, or engage in
 
12 parasailing, water sledding, or commercial high speed boating, or
 
13 operate a motor vessel towing a person engaged in water sledding
 
14 or parasailing on the west and south shore of Maui as provided in
 
15 section 200-38.
 
16      (j)  All commercial use and operator permits issued by the
 
17 department for commercial [thrill craft,] personal watercraft,
 
18 and parasailing activities shall be fully transferable upon the
 
19 payment of a business transfer fee in an amount determined by the
 
20 department, which shall be no greater than six per cent of the
 
21 transfer price; provided that no more than one transfer every two
 
22 years shall be authorized with respect to any given permit,
 
23 except transfers between family members for the purpose of
 

 
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 1 business reorganization."
 
 2      4.  By amending subsections (l) and (m) to read:
 
 3      "(l)  All new commercial use and operator permits issued by
 
 4 the department for commercial [thrill craft,] personal
 
 5 watercraft, and parasailing activities after the effective date
 
 6 of this Act shall be issued at public auction.
 
 7      (m)  Each commercial use and operator permit issued by the
 
 8 department for commercial [thrill craft,] personal watercraft,
 
 9 and parasailing activities shall be valid for five years from the
 
10 date of issuance and shall be renewed by the department for
 
11 additional five-year periods, not to exceed a maximum of twenty
 
12 years; provided that the permit holder shall have met the
 
13 following conditions:
 
14      (1)  The permit holder shall be in compliance with all
 
15           applicable rules of the department;
 
16      (2)  The permit holder shall have timely filed and paid all
 
17           applicable state taxes during the year; and
 
18      (3)  The permit holder shall have a good safety record
 
19           regarding the operation of a commercial [thrill craft,]
 
20           personal watercraft, or parasailing activity."
 
21      5.  By amending subsections (o) and (p) to read:
 
22      "(o)  All commercial use and operator permits issued by the
 
23 department for commercial [thrill craft,] personal watercraft,
 

 
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 1 and parasailing activities shall be subject to an annual review
 
 2 by the department which shall include but not be limited to:
 
 3      (1)  The permit holder's compliance with applicable rules of
 
 4           the department;
 
 5      (2)  The permit holder's timely filing and payment of all
 
 6           applicable state taxes during the year; and
 
 7      (3)  The permit holder's safety record regarding the
 
 8           operation of a commercial [thrill craft,] personal
 
 9           watercraft, or parasailing activity.
 
10      (p)  The department shall adopt rules to encourage water
 
11 safety education and programs with respect to [thrill craft,]
 
12 personal watercraft, or parasailing activities."
 
13      SECTION 8.  Section 200-38, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
14 amended as follows:
 
15      1.  By amending subsection (a) to read:
 
16      "(a)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no
 
17 commercial operator shall operate a [thrill craft,] personal
 
18 watercraft, engage in parasailing, water sledding, or commercial
 
19 high speed boating, operate a motorized vessel towing a person
 
20 engaged in parasailing, or operate a motor vessel towing a person
 
21 engaged in water sledding during all weekends and state and
 
22 federal holidays on Oahu in Maunalua Bay from Kawaihoa (Portlock)
 
23 Point to Wailupe Peninsula and commercial zones a, b, and c."
 

 
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 1      2.  By amending subsection (c) to read:
 
 2      "(c)  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no
 
 3 person shall operate a [thrill craft,] personal watercraft,
 
 4 engage in parasailing, operate a motorized vessel towing a person
 
 5 engaged in parasailing, engage in commercial water sledding or
 
 6 commercial high speed boating, or operate a commercial motor
 
 7 vessel towing a person engaged in water sledding between
 
 8 December 15 and May 15 of each year in the waters of west and
 
 9 south Maui from Pu`u Ola`i to Hawea Point."
 
10      SECTION 9.  Section 200-39, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
11 amended by amending subsections (a) to (c) to read as follows:
 
12      "(a)  For the purposes of this section, "ocean use
 
13 activities" means commercial operation of [thrill craft,]
 
14 personal watercraft, high speed boating, parasailing, water
 
15 sledding, sailing and snorkeling tours, glassbottom boat tours,
 
16 or any other similar commercial ocean recreation activity for
 
17 hire.
 
18      (b)  Any other provision of this chapter to the contrary
 
19 notwithstanding, no person shall operate [thrill craft,] personal
 
20 watercraft, parasailing, water sledding, or commercial high speed
 
21 boating unless the person meets the requirements of section
 
22 200-37 and all rules adopted by the department that regulate or
 
23 restrict these activities.
 

 
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 1      (c)  Permits issued by the department for the commercial
 
 2 operation of ocean use activities in Kaneohe Bay shall be limited
 
 3 to the number and locations, by permit type and vessel and
 
 4 passenger capacity, provided in the Kaneohe Bay master plan
 
 5 developed pursuant to Act 208, Session Laws of Hawaii 1990 and
 
 6 amended by section 200D-3; provided that passenger capacity for
 
 7 snorkeling tours and glassbottom boat tours shall be set through
 
 8 rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91.  No [thrill craft] personal
 
 9 watercraft permit may be transferred after June 21, 1998;
 
10 provided that transfers of permits may be made at any time
 
11 between family members."
 
12      SECTION 10.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
13 New statutory material is underscored.
 
14      SECTION 11.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
15 
 
16                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________