Some state legislators are trying to make it a requirement that all boaters pass a safety exam. Two separate bills, one in the House and one in the Senate would make it mandatory for people behind the wheel of a motor boat to pass the safety test and carry the certification to prove it. "I think it should be required. People don't understand what the rules are of boating,” said Tom Conely of Wilmington. However, not everyone in Raleigh is in agreement. Representative Bonner Stiller has voted against the boating safety education bill. "It’s ridiculous. Now none of us are against safety, but um, to tell folks that its mandatory, is just another example of big government getting here on top of us when we don't need it.” Here are a few of the bills guidelines: Visitors can operate a motorboat up to 90 days without having to pass a safety course. Commercial fishermen do not have to take the test. Teenagers from 14 to 16 must be supervised by someone 18 or older, who has a certification. If the bill is approved, it will become law immediately, however depending on age, boaters have at minimum two years to pass the test and get certified.
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