Public Chapter 57


By Representative Rinks

Substituted for: Senate Bill No. 384

By Senator Atchley

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 69, Chapter 10, relative to personal flotation devices for children being transported on certain vessels on the waters of this state.


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 69, Chapter 10, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section to be appropriately designated:

Section ___. (a) All persons age twelve (12) and under in an open boat or on an open deck of a vessel being used for recreational purposes on the waters of this state shall wear a United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device while such vessel is underway. Any personal flotation devices required by this section shall be in good and serviceable condition, appropriately sized and properly worn by the person. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in violation of this section.

(b) This section does not apply to a commercial vessel owned and operated by a commercial entity which charges a per passenger fee.

(c) A violation of the provisions of this section is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00).

SECTION 2. Any person cited under the provisions of this act shall be given thirty (30) days to provide to the officer proof of legal age and for good cause shown, in the judgement of the officer, said period shall be extended for an additional period of thirty (30) days. In the event the proof shows that the person was of legal age at the time of arrest, the individual shall not be required to appear in court and the court, upon request of the officer, shall dismiss the citation and there shall be no costs asessed to the person.

SECTION 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 1997, the public welfare requiring it.