Should Arizona Require A Boater Education Class?

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 - 7:46am

A new law that takes effect January 2018 will require California boat operators under 21-years-old to take a boater education class. The new requirement could be a sign of things to come in Arizona.

"Last year in Arizona, 76 percent of all persons in an injury or property related boating have not taken a boater education course," said Tim Baumgarten, the state boating law administrator at the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

He said last year in California, out of 49 fatalities, 48 involved boaters who had not taken a boater education course. Now, Baumgarten said he hopes Arizona will follow California’s example.

"National surveys have shown that states that have had a mandatory boater education requirement for a number of years, have a statistically reliable reduced fatality rate than other states that have not," he said.

Meanwhile, Baumgarten said Arizona officers will not be able to enforce California’s law in shared waters, like at Lake Havasu.  

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