New Jersey loves passing laws as much as it loves pizza and bagels.

If you’re having some fun in the water this summer, there’s a couple of new rules you need to know about. These two new boating regulations just began with the 2024 season and come from New Jersey State Police’s Maritime Services Bureau.

First, it can be quite common on a Jet Ski or any similar personal watercraft to place a child or another person in front of the operator whose arms will be on either side of that person as those arms handle the controls. You’re no longer allowed to do that.

A passenger can no longer sit in front of the driver between the driver and the controls.

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The reason for the change is explained as follows on a New State Police website:

“This measure aims to mitigate the risk of inexperienced persons assuming control of the steering and operating mechanism of the personal watercraft. Many operators were allowing, mainly children, to ride in such a dangerous position. This regulation is also meant to protect the lives of persons, especially smaller persons, from becoming crushed between the operator and steering controls of a PWC as a result of a vessel accident.”

Second, the distance for a waterskiing boat or any craft which pulls a passenger on a line to keep away from objects or other people has doubled. It used to be a minimum of 100 feet.

The new rule calls for a minimum of at least 200 feet away from docks, piers, shoreline, and swimmers, boats, and buoys.

No one loves dealing with new rules and regulations in New Jersey. But we all want to be safe in the water, and hey, at least we love the pizza and bagels!

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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