© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New boat rules in MO start Sunday.


By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Rules that young Missourians had to follow on lakes and rivers this year will soon also apply to out-of-staters.

Missouri this year started requiring those younger than 21 to take a boat safety class before operating watercraft. But the rule only applied to Missourians, until now.

Starting Sunday, all young boaters will need the certification.

But Ralph Bledsoe, with the Missouri Water Patrol, says it's not meant to keep people away. "If an individual is on vacation, and they don't have a certification from the state, they're only going to be coming to the state of Missouri and using the boat maybe once, they are going to be allowed to take a short test at the rental place and be issued a 30-day temporary permit."

Bledsoe says the rule came about as a response to higher accident rates among young boaters, especially those on personal craft, like Jet skis.

"Another thing these Jet skis do is it seems the individuals that use them - because they can do so many things with them and they're so maneuverable - they get to focusing on what they're doing and not paying attention to any traffic around them."

Bledsoe says 20-05 data aren't final, but it appears accident rates decreased during the first year of the rule.


Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.