Penn. mulls raising age to operate PWC

WILKES BARRE, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is expected to discuss proposals to raise the minimum age for operators of personal watercraft and eliminate the requirement to drive counter-clockwise at a meeting early this week, the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader said in a story yesterday.

Commission staff has recommended adopting a rule that would increase the minimum age to operate personal watercraft to 13, and then one year older each year until the minimum reaches 16. The proposal also would raise the minimum age of a passenger to 18 when the driver is 15 or younger. If passed, the change would take effect next year, the Times-Leader reported.

Pennsylvania's current law requires a boating safety education certificate for all operators of personal watercraft and for youth ages 12 to 15 when operating boats powered by motors of 10 horsepower or more. Children under 12 years old are not allowed to operate either, the newspaper said.

Anyone born after 1982 must complete a boating safety course before they can operate a boat with more than 25 horsepower.

Pennsylvania is one of the only states that requires boaters to drive counter-clockwise on all its waters, a rule that is infrequently enforced.

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