UK Government opens consultation to strengthen the enforcement of the dangerous use of recreational and personal watercraft

The Department for Transport has published a consultation document to modernise laws and clamp down on dangerous driving of jet skis to protect the public and coastal areas. The consultation will bring recreational and personal watercraft, such as jet-skis and speedboats, under the same laws as those who operate ships, meaning tougher sentences for those caught driving dangerously.

Under the current system, local authorities (LAs) have the power to regulate speed and nuisance driving through byelaws, with the power to fine those breaching the rules up to £1,000.

Although many LAs have introduced speed limits, signage and ID tags to prevent accidents, there remains a number of unmanaged waters around the UK and, since the beginning of 2020, there have been 4 fatalities related to dangerous driving on jet skis, which these laws will help to prevent. Bringing recreational and personal watercraft in line with laws in place for boats will ensure tougher sentences for reckless driving across all waters.

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said:
“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.”

The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 1 November 2021.

Download the consultation document: Consultation into the dangerous use of personal watercraft

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