Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1312
       By Senator Dean
       5-01201A-16                                           20161312__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to protection zones for springs;
    3         amending s. 327.73, F.S.; providing penalties for
    4         violations relating to protection zones for springs;
    5         creating s. 373.469, F.S.; defining terms; directing
    6         the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to
    7         establish protection zones to prevent harm to springs;
    8         requiring the commission to set vessel speed and
    9         operation standards for protection zones; requiring
   10         the commission to consult with certain other entities
   11         under certain circumstances; providing penalties;
   12         providing exceptions; specifying responsibility for
   13         posting and maintaining regulatory markers; requiring
   14         the commission to adopt rules; amending s. 327.731,
   15         F.S.; conforming cross-references; providing an
   16         effective date.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   20         Section 1. Subsection (1) of section 327.73, Florida
   21  Statutes, is amended to read:
   22         327.73 Noncriminal infractions.—
   23         (1) Violations of the following provisions of the vessel
   24  laws of this state are noncriminal infractions unless otherwise
   25  provided:
   26         (a) Section 373.469, relating to protection zones for
   27  springs, for which the penalty is:
   28         1. For a first offense, up to a maximum of $50.
   29         2. For a second offense, up to a maximum of $250.
   30         3. For a third or subsequent offense, criminal penalties as
   31  provided in s. 373.469(4).
   32         (b)(a) Section 328.46, relating to operation of
   33  unregistered and unnumbered vessels.
   34         (c)(b) Section 328.48(4), relating to display of number and
   35  possession of registration certificate.
   36         (d)(c) Section 328.48(5), relating to display of decal.
   37         (e)(d) Section 328.52(2), relating to display of number.
   38         (f)(e) Section 328.54, relating to spacing of digits and
   39  letters of identification number.
   40         (g)(f) Section 328.60, relating to military personnel and
   41  registration of vessels.
   42         (h)(g) Section 328.72(13), relating to operation with an
   43  expired registration.
   44         (i)(h) Section 327.33(2), relating to careless operation.
   45         (j)(i) Section 327.37, relating to water skiing,
   46  aquaplaning, parasailing, and similar activities.
   47         (k)(j) Section 327.44, relating to interference with
   48  navigation.
   49         (l)(k) Violations relating to boating-restricted areas and
   50  speed limits:
   51         1. Established by the commission or by local governmental
   52  authorities pursuant to s. 327.46.
   53         2. Speed limits established pursuant to s. 379.2431(2).
   54         (m)(l) Section 327.48, relating to regattas and races.
   55         (n)(m) Section 327.50(1) and (2), relating to required
   56  safety equipment, lights, and shapes.
   57         (o)(n) Section 327.65, relating to muffling devices.
   58         (p)(o) Section 327.33(3)(b), relating to a violation of
   59  navigation rules:
   60         1. That does not result in an accident; or
   61         2. That results in an accident not causing serious bodily
   62  injury or death, for which the penalty is:
   63         a. For a first offense, up to a maximum of $250.
   64         b. For a second offense, up to a maximum of $750.
   65         c. For a third or subsequent offense, up to a maximum of
   66  $1,000.
   67         (q)(p) Section 327.39(1), (2), (3), and (5), relating to
   68  personal watercraft.
   69         (r)(q) Section 327.53(1), (2), and (3), relating to marine
   70  sanitation.
   71         (s)(r) Section 327.53(4), (5), and (7), relating to marine
   72  sanitation, for which the civil penalty is $250.
   73         (t)(s) Section 327.395, relating to boater safety
   74  education.
   75         (u)(t) Section 327.52(3), relating to operation of
   76  overloaded or overpowered vessels.
   77         (v)(u) Section 327.331, relating to divers-down flags and
   78  buoys, except for violations meeting the requirements of s.
   79  327.33.
   80         (w)(v) Section 327.391(1), relating to the requirement for
   81  an adequate muffler on an airboat.
   82         (x)(w) Section 327.391(3), relating to the display of a
   83  flag on an airboat.
   84         (y)(x) Section 253.04(3)(a), relating to carelessly causing
   85  seagrass scarring, for which the civil penalty upon conviction
   86  is:
   87         1. For a first offense, $50.
   88         2. For a second offense occurring within 12 months after a
   89  prior conviction, $250.
   90         3. For a third offense occurring within 36 months after a
   91  prior conviction, $500.
   92         4. For a fourth or subsequent offense occurring within 72
   93  months after a prior conviction, $1,000.
   95  Any person cited for a violation of any provision of this
   96  subsection, unless otherwise provided, shall be deemed to be
   97  charged with a noncriminal infraction, shall be cited for such
   98  an infraction, and shall be cited to appear before the county
   99  court. The civil penalty for any such infraction is $50, except
  100  as otherwise provided in this section. Any person who fails to
  101  appear or otherwise properly respond to a uniform boating
  102  citation shall, in addition to the charge relating to the
  103  violation of the boating laws of this state, be charged with the
  104  offense of failing to respond to such citation and, upon
  105  conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree,
  106  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A written
  107  warning to this effect shall be provided at the time such
  108  uniform boating citation is issued.
  109         Section 2. Section 373.469, Florida Statutes, is created to
  110  read:
  111         373.469 Protection zones for springs.—
  112         (1) As used in this section, the term:
  113         (a) “Commission” means the Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  114  Commission.
  115         (b) “Navigable waters of the United States” means the
  116  waters of the United States, including the territorial seas, as
  117  referenced in the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. ss. 1251 et seq.,
  118  and the federal rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.
  119         (c) “Vessel” has the same meaning as provided in s. 327.02.
  120         (2) The commission shall establish by rule protection zones
  121  restricting the speed and operation of vessels to protect and
  122  prevent harm to springs. This harm includes negative impacts to
  123  water quality, water quantity, hydrology, wetlands, and aquatic-
  124  and wetland-dependent species.
  125         (3) The commission shall develop each protection zone in
  126  consultation and coordination with the water management
  127  district, and the governing bodies of the county and
  128  municipality, if applicable, in which the zone is located. If
  129  the zone includes navigable waters of the United States, the
  130  commission shall additionally coordinate with the United States
  131  Coast Guard and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
  132         (4) Any individual who operates a vessel in violation of a
  133  spring protection zone rule adopted pursuant to this section
  134  shall be charged on a uniform boating citation as provided in s.
  135  327.74 and is subject to the following penalties:
  136         (a) First and second violations are noncriminal
  137  infractions, punishable as provided in s. 327.73(1)(a).
  138         (b) Third and subsequent violations are misdemeanors of the
  139  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
  140  775.083.
  141         (5) Restrictions in a protection zone do not apply:
  142         (a) To law enforcement, firefighting, or rescue personnel
  143  operating a vessel in the course of performing their official
  144  duties; or
  145         (b) In emergency situations. However, the emergency
  146  operation of a vessel must be a reasonable response given the
  147  circumstances.
  148         (6) The commission is responsible for the posting and
  149  maintenance of regulatory markers identifying protection zones.
  150         (7) The commission shall adopt rules to implement this
  151  section.
  152         Section 3. Subsection (1) of section 327.731, Florida
  153  Statutes, is amended to read:
  154         327.731 Mandatory education for violators.—
  155         (1) A person convicted of a criminal violation under this
  156  chapter, convicted of a noncriminal infraction under this
  157  chapter if the infraction resulted in a reportable boating
  158  accident, or convicted of two noncriminal infractions as
  159  specified in s. 327.73(1)(i)-(l), (n), (p), (q), and (t)-(y) s.
  160  327.73(1)(h)-(k), (m), (o), (p), and (s)-(x), said infractions
  161  occurring within a 12-month period, must:
  162         (a) Enroll in, attend, and successfully complete, at his or
  163  her own expense, a classroom or online boating safety course
  164  that is approved by and meets the minimum standards established
  165  by commission rule;
  166         (b) File with the commission within 90 days proof of
  167  successful completion of the course; and
  168         (c) Refrain from operating a vessel until he or she has
  169  filed proof of successful completion of the course with the
  170  commission.
  171         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.