New boat laws aim to make waters safer
Governor Pat Quinn signed three bills aimed at tightening boater safety.
One bill allows police to seize a boat or other water craft operated by someone under the influence.
Another measure requires anyone born after 1997 to take a boating safety course before operating a boat with an engine larger than 10 horsepower.
And the third bill requires boat operators to display a 12-inch-by-12-inch orange flag when someone skis or tubes behind the boat.
All the laws take effect next year.
The legislation comes after Tony Borcia, 10, of Libertyville was killed on the Chain O’ Lakes two years ago.
The boy was riding in an inner tube towed by a pontoon operated by his father. The child fell off the tube and into the water. While his father turned the boat around to pick him up, a 29-foot boat ran over him even though Borcia was wearing a reflective life jacket and waving his arms frantically.
The operator of the boat, David Hatyina, 52, pled guilty to operating his boat under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.