State Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) and Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli (D-Thomaston) have announced that the Senate and the Assembly have passed their legislation that gives villages, cities and towns the power to regulate the use and operation of jet skis and other specialty prop craft.
The bill authorizes local municipalities to establish a personal watercraft and specialty prop-craft regulation zone in addition to allowing regulations to be adopted that promote the safety of individuals and to protect the interests of the municipality. Currently, municipalities lack the legal authority to protect their own waterways from excessive or dangerous jet ski use.
"This legislation will give local governments the control they need to make decisions on the regulation of personal watercraft, commonly known as "jet skis". Municipalities deserve the ability to decide what jet ski ordinances best fit their individual waterways," Senator Marcellino said.
"There is a genuine need for strong local control of these increasingly powerful and popular machines," said Assemblyman DiNapoli. "This legislation will remove ambiguity in the law as to local authority to regulate the use of jet skis and it is consistent with New York State's long tradition of "home rule.'"
Comprising 8 percent of all of the state's watercraft, personal watercraft are involved in 30 percent of all accidents on the water. They also create environmental threats to shorelines, wildlife and wetland habitat.
"When jet skis are operated improperly, they pose a serious danger to the safety, health, privacy and beauty of local waterfronts. They create environmental dangers that range from disturbance of local wildlife to air, water and noise pollution," Senator Marcellino added.
Assembly DiNapoli concluded, "This legislation clearly recognizes that local conditions are diverse throughout the state and that local governments are best suited to address the needs of their particular communities relative to the use of these watercraft on their waters."
The legislation now awaits action by the governor.