Mass. Lifejacket Bill Tabled

Laws regarding the requirements of PFD use will remain the same in Massachusetts as House Bill 646 is tabled. United States Coast Guard photo/ PA1 Bobby Nash.

Massachusetts House Bill 646, which would have required that PFDs be worn by all persons aboard boats under 20 feet, was tabled yesterday (Tuesday, April 5) pending further study.

No one testified in favor of the bill at the hearing, and it was acknowledged that the bill faced a lot of opposition from the boating public. It was suggested by some House members that the bill be reworded to reflect a greater emphasis on boater-education regarding PFD use, rather than a mandate to wear life jackets. The bill may be revisited in 3 to 4 months.

Currently in Massachusetts, life jackets must be onboard all boats, and worn by children under 12, and by all persons who are waterskiing, riding personal watercraft, or paddling in canoes and kayaks during the winter.

Related Article:

New England Boating (April 4, 2011): Mass Bill Would Require Adult Lifejacket Use

Current  Requirements in MA:

It’s the Law: Required Equipment

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