Texas governor signs kill-switch law

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Kali Gorzell

Kali Gorzell

Editor’s note: Regulations affect nearly every segment of the marine industry, so stories that announce a change or a new rule usually are well-received by Trade Only Today readers. However, the amount of traffic this story received was a bit of a surprise. This story was our most popular of 2019, with 52,557 page views and counting.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill that requires boat operators to be physically connected to a boat’s emergency shutoff switch into law.

The bill was called “Kali’s Law,” after 16-year-old Kali Gorzell died in a 2012 boating accident in Port Aransas, Texas. According to TV station KVUE, a family friend was driving a boat that Gorzell was a passenger on when it “swapped ends.” The teenager fell off the boat and struck the propeller.

Her family believes that if the driver had been wearing the shutoff switch that Gorzell would still be alive.

“All new boats will have kill switches, which is a good thing,” said James Gorzell, Kali’s father, in an interview with KVUE sister station KENS. “We believe because of this, lives are being saved already.”

The law will go into effect on September 1.

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