‘Kali’s Law’ Makes This Safety Item a Requirement on All Texas Lakes
While new laws pertaining to guns, the tobacco age limit, or unwanted sexually explicit photos sent to your mobile device may be top of mind since the first of the month another new law on the books may have been forgotten.
It's known as "Kali's law" and it became official on September 1st. The law says Texans operating a boat on a body of water must be wearing a killswitch at all times. As some will remember, the law was named after Kali Gorzell. Kali died at the age of 16 when she was struck by a boat propeller near Aransas Pass in 2012.
The killswitch shuts off the boat engine should the driver fall out of the boat or be unable to operate the craft for one reason or another. Chris Costa with KHOU reports officials on several Texas lakes found many boaters who had no idea the new law had become the new law of the lakes.
It can be a difficult job for police as they will encounter boaters who come to any given lake from all over the state. They see it as their job to enforce and educate as they go. Some folks may already be observing the new law, and others will need to be taught about the change and why it is so important.
The update is known as "Kali's law" and does not require you to retrofit your old watercraft that isn't outfitted with a killswitch. However, the law does not permit anyone to remove a killswitch that was installed on a vessel at the factory. Texas Parks and Wildlife say that a wireless switch is permitted for anyone who is concerned about lanyard style devices.