Pennsylvania considering mandatory PFD law

HARRISBURG, Penn. – The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is asking for public comment on a proposal that would expand mandatory wearing of personal floatation devices (PFDs) for boaters in watercraft 16 feet in length or less and all canoes and kayaks, according to its Web site.

One possibility is a requirement that all people on these boats would wear lifejackets year-round, while another possibility is that the requirement would be limited to between October 1 and May 31, the commission reported.

It pointed out that 114 people died in recreational boating accidents within the state from 1996 through 2005, over 40 percent of which occurred between October and May. Almost half of the 114 accidents that took place involved small boats.

To comment on the proposal, visit

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