SAN ANGELO, Texas — People across West Texas are expected to celebrate Labor Day Weekend on area lakes and with the end of the summer vacation season comes a new law in Texas, designed for boater safety.
‘Kali’s Law’ was established in response to the fatality of Kali Gorzell, a 16-year-old girl who was struck and killed by a boat propeller near Aransas Pass in 2012.
Any boat manufactured after September 1st, 2019 that is less than 26 feet in length will be required to have a cut-off switch attached to the boat’s driver. A cut-off switch works by cutting off the motor that drives the propeller, if the boat operator falls away or out of the boat. Officials say the law was created to save lives.
“This is our main last push for this weekend. The first year we’re gonna be doing a lot of educating for this law to try and get everybody in compliance and to realize the safety concerns we have for it,” said Lt. Game Warden Ricky May.
State Game Wardens say that if a boat is already equipped with a cut-off switch, boat operators found not wearing them could be cited.
While boats that were manufactured before September 1st are not required to have a cut-off switch, May recommends boat owners of these consider installing one.