Deadline looms for PWC consultation, RYA urges public to have their say

A public consultation on the use and classification of recreational and personal watercraft (PWC) will close at 11.45pm on 1 November 2021. The RYA have encouraged the marine community to have their say on the proposal, which was launched by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The Government has said that the consultation’s purpose is to ‘modernise laws and clamp down on dangerous driving of jet skis to protect the public and coastal areas.’

The consultation, ‘strengthening enforcement of the dangerous use of recreational and personal watercraft’, opened on 6 September and will close next Monday.

The proposals from DfT would re-classify the use of recreational and personal watercraft, such as PWCs and speedboats, making the users subject to the same laws and safety obligations as those who operate ships, meaning tougher sentences for those caught driving recklessly.

Maritime minister Robert Courts says: “The vast majority of jet-skis users, and those operating personal and recreational watercraft, do so safely and responsibly. However, there are those who unfortunately put others in danger. Introducing these laws will help prevent accidents from happening, allowing everyone to enjoy our waterways, beaches and coastlines safely and with peace of mind.”

Howard Pridding, RYA director of external affairs, says: “The RYA works with partners on initiatives to support safe and responsible use of personal watercraft. We share the minister’s desire to frame legislation that will help to address the minority of PWC users who behave irresponsibly and create issues. We have undertaken a detailed review of the proposed changes to legislation to ensure that it is focussed and will not bring unintended consequences for other forms of boating. We will be submitting a thorough response to the consultation and would encourage our members who enjoy riding personal watercraft responsibly to have their say before the consultation deadline.” 

To have your say on the DfT’s proposals, please visit the GOV.UK website

The consultation is part of the government’s commitment to personal and recreational watercraft safety outlined in the Maritime Safety Action Plan launched by ministers during Maritime Safety Week 2019.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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