Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 1, 2006
Sue Williams talks to reporters following passage of
Kyle Williams Bill Wins Senate Approval
Legislation aimed at saving the lives
of Oklahoma children and teenagers has been approved
by the full Senate. Senate Bill 1495, known as the Kyle
Williams Boating Safety Education Act, is named for
12-year-old Kyle Williams of Edmond, who died as a result
of a jet ski accident in August 2004.
Currently, Oklahoma law simply states that a person
must be at least 12 years old to operate a jet ski,
but there are no additional educational requirements.
SB 1495 would require those between the ages of 12 and
16 to complete a boater safety education course and
be accompanied by an adult.
Kyle’s mother, Sue Williams, watched from the
Senate gallery as the measure named for her son was
approved. She said Kyle was in her thoughts.
“I think of him all the time when I’m here.
I carry him in my heart and I feel like he’s keeping
me strong to continue and protect other kids from this
happening,” Williams said. “I think he’s
smiling down on all of us.”
The measure is authored by Sen. Kenneth Corn, Chairman
of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public
Safety and Judiciary, and Sen. Todd Lamb, who is a neighbor
of the Williams family and represents them in the Senate.
“We are one of only eight states that does not
require some kind of boating education for teens and
children, even though 80 percent of fatalities on the
water happen when the operator hasn’t had any
boater education. This measure will require that education
and help us create a safer Oklahoma,” said Corn,
Boating education courses are currently available free
of charge through the Department of Public Safety, so
the bill would not require any additional appropriation
of tax dollars.
The legislation also includes a fine of up to $100 for
a first offense and up to $500 for a second offense
for any parent or other supervising adult that allows
a child between 12 and 16 to operate a jet ski without
having completed the required boater safety course.
“I want to thank the Williams family and so many
others who have come to the Capitol to share their painful
stories in the hopes that we can prevent another tragedy,”
said Lamb, R-Edmond. “If we can prevent another
child’s death by simply requiring a boater education
course, then we should do it.”
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives
for further consideration.
more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office - (405) 521-5576