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Kali's Law starts Sept. 1 #13253027 08/19/19 08:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
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Capt Craig Offline OP
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Capt. Craig Copeland
USCG Merchant Marine #2877028



Dear friends and boaters

On September 1, 2019 a new boating law will significantly change boating operations here in Texas.

H,B, 337 (Kali’s Law) An act relating to the use of emergency engine cutoff switches on motorboats.

This law is very specific as to when it applies and very specific as to what is required.


========================

SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS:


SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code, by adding Section 31.1071,
as follows:

Sec. 31.1071. OPERATION OF MOTORBOAT WITH EMERGENCY ENGINE CUTOFF
SWITCH. (a) Defines "engine cutoff switch" for purposes of this section.

(b) Prohibits a motorboat operator from operating a motorboat less than 26 feet in
length and equipped by the manufacturer with an engine cutoff switch while the
engine is running and the motorboat is underway without first verifying that the
switch is operational and fully functional and:

(1) if using a lanyard attachment, properly attaching the lanyard, as
appropriate for the specific motorboat, to the operator's body or to the
clothing or personal flotation device being worn by the operator; or

(2) if using a wireless attachment, properly attaching to each individual
on the motorboat an operational man-overboard transmitter.

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/analysis/pdf/HB00337E.pdf

========================


LANYARD USE

When the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, the operator of the motorboat must be attached to the cutoff switch at ALL TIMES by a lanyard attached physically to that person.

WIRELESS ATTACHMENT

When the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, the operator of the motorboat, AND EVERY PERSON ON THE BOAT REGARDLESS OF AGE, must also be wearing a wireless attachment. A wireless attachment activates a device mounted at the console which will trigger the cutoff switch killing the motor and causing the boat to come to a stop. The wireless attachment is activated by it becoming wet by submersion or excessive wetness, or when the wireless attachment exceeds a certain distance from the helm receiver.

INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW

The law is not based on speed of the motorboat while underway. If the motorboat’s engine is on and the motorboat is underway, regardless of the speed, the operator of the boat must be connected to the cutoff switch. In some situations, this may cause complications for fishing guides and charter Captains during activities such as downrigging where a boat idles in gear while long lines are submerged under the motorboat towing fishing lures. A typical lanyard often stretches to a distance of about 30 inches, but movement of 8 feet or more from the helm may be required to adjust the downrigger equipment while the boat is moving at 1 mph to 3 mph. If the engine is turned on and the boat is moved any distance, the operator of the boat must be connected to the cutoff switch.

LANYARD LENGTH

There is no wording in the law regarding the length allowed for a lanyard. In theory, the operator of the motorboat may wear a lanyard of the length of his/her choosing so long as it is connected to the cutoff and the operator. Fishing guides and charter Captains may find it necessary to create a custom length to meet the needs of the operator.

UNDERSTANDING DEFINITIONS

The wording of this law is a tiny bit unclear. The phrase “while the engine is running” denotes the engine is ON, but does not denote whether or not the transmission is in gear or the propeller is turning. If the engine is running regardless of whether the transmission is in neutral, forward or reverse, the engine is considered ON.

The phrase “the motorboat is underway” is not defined within the law itself. In marine terms, UNDERWAY is defined as “a vessel not at anchor or aground or made fast to the shore.” Any motorboat not meeting these three criteria is said to be underway and the operator required to be attached to the cutoff switch if the motor is also ON.

Situations requiring the operator be attached to the cutoff switch:
• Motor is on, transmission is in neutral, motorboat is drifting not being propelled by the motor.
• Motor is on, transmission is in forward, motorboat is moving by being propelled by the motor.
• Motor is on, transmission is in reverse, motorboat is moving by being propelled by the motor.

Situations not requiring the operator to be attached to the cutoff switch:
• Motor is on, motorboat is at anchor
• Motor is on, motorboat is tied to the shore
• Motor is on, motorboat is tied to a stump (at anchor)
• Motor is on, motorboat is aground
• Motor is off, motorboat is drifting by wave or by wind
• Electronic trolling motor is being used, motorboat is stationary or underway

I believe the law would have been better worded with the phrase “the motor running, transmission in gear, and the motorboat being underway making way.” This marine phrase translates into the motorboat’s engine is actively used to propel the motorboat by the turning of the propeller.

Regardless, those in Texas who enforce these laws will absolutely be enforcing this law. All persons operating motorboats must comply with this law beginning September 1, 2019. As the law is directed to save persons from injury caused by a turning propeller, hopefully it will save a life.


Capt. Craig Copeland
Licensed by the US Coast Guard

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Humminbird HELIX 12 CHIRP MEGA SI GPS G3N
Nautic Star Boats Pro Staff (nauticstarboats.com)
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Re: Kali's Law starts Sept. 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253722 08/20/19 01:26 PM
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What are fines, ticket, etc... I can not find this info. I never use lanyard but then again I almost never see coast guard or state patrol. And if this is state law can coast guard enforce it or just state?


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Re: Kali's Law starts Sept. 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253803 08/20/19 02:18 PM
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JohnRussell Offline
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Okay, I get the lanyard.. but.. I am supposed to attach some sort of "wireless attachment" to each passenger that is an emergency cut-off for my engine?

I am not even sure what the heck that is and what it would cost and if it would even work on 2003 engines.

Can someone explain that part?

Also, the definition says "If using a wireless attachment" as if it is lanyard OR wireless, vs both. Need clarification because this is the first I have heard of it and, seriously.. while I do not mind being safe by any means, but there comes a time when one has to ask if it makes sense. An example.. someone goes overboard.. the thing shuts the engine off...and you cannot get it started back while they are in the water? Not sure how all that works etc... Not sure how many folks have experienced that sort of thing, but getting the boat TO that person can be helpful.

Again, just learning of this.. so looking for clarification... I am all for my family being safe, and clearly not debating the law.. just trying to see what the heck wireless junk I have to now buy that I did not plan on.... heh

R


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Re: Kali's Law starts Sept. 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13253851 08/20/19 02:59 PM
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JohnRussell Offline
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Okay, the text of the law is a little different....

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/85R/senateamend/pdf/HB00337A.pdf

The issue is confusing, so let me clarify, based on the actual wording of the text, since the initial post is not clear.

1 - This applies to boats 26ft and under.

2 - The actual text states that a lanyard OR wireless device. It does not state, according to anything I located on the TPWD site as well as the Texas Legislature site, anything about a lanyard on the boat operator AND wireless devices on every passenger.

"if using a lanyard attachment, properly attaching the lanyard, as appropriate for the specific motorboat, to the operator’s body or to the clothing or personal flotation device being worn by the operator; or(2)AAif using a wireless attachment, properly attaching to each individual on the motorboat an operational man-overboard transmitter."


I am still looking for the final version, to see if it is different, but figured to clarify what I was finding so people, like me, do not go out and start buying stuff up for a law that may not apply to them.

Safety is one thing...spending money I do not need to spend, to avoid a law that does not apply to me (boat is over 26ft)....do not need to buy it right off the bat.

That being said, safety is a huge concern, so may do it all anyway, but do not have to do it before I get it on the water.

R


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Re: Kali's Law starts Sept. 1 [Re: Capt Craig] #13256287 08/22/19 04:15 PM
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TroutSupport.com Offline
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The wireless emergency cut off is only for the digital kill switches. Supposed they will all a person to move arround a deck but as soon as they hit the water then it kills the engine. it is 'either / or' no requirement to be used in combination.


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