Two new boating laws to know this July 4
In Tennessee, more than 150 new laws are now in effect. Some of them could impact your July 4 celebrations.
If you plan to rent a boat, you will have to take a TWRA class and pass an exam before you hit the water. TWRA is trying to get the word out before the holiday.
"If you are approaching a law enforcement vessel displaying flashing blue lights, you have to yield no wake within a hundred feet of them," TWRA Officer David Holt stated.
Holt added the main concern is, of course, safety, and therefore, a grace period was not granted.
"Whether it be citations or warnings, they will be issued on the water," Officer Holt explained.
Another law impacts those born after January 1st, 1989. The law states that any vessel over 8.5 horsepower must be operated by someone who has passed a proctored exam.
"Now if you rent a vessel, you have to have completed boater education as well if you're born after January 1 of 1989," Officer Holt added.
This includes small fishing boats and jet skis, but excludes sailboats and rafts with small motors under 8.5 horsepower. If a minor or anyone who hasn't taken the exam is operating a jet ski or vessel, someone born before January 1st, 1989, must be within hands reach of operating.
Permits are available for $6.50 at Bass Pro Shops, but exams must be taken at a testing facility. A full list for Hamilton County can be found on the TWRA's website.
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