6 Mar 2014

First fines for not wearing life jackets

9:20 pm on 6 March 2014

Eight people in Hawke's Bay have become the first to be fined for not wearing a life jacket.

Life jackets must be worn by everyone on board a vessel up to 6m long.

Life jackets must be worn by everyone on board a vessel up to 6m long. Photo: PHOTO NZ

A review of Navigation Safety Bylaws in 2012 requires that life jackets be worn by everyone on board a vessel of up to six metres in length.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's harbourmaster Phil Norman said on Thursday that eight fines of $300 each have been issued to boaties seen off the coast of Napier not wearing life jackets on the boats.

Mr Norman said those fined were spotted putting their jackets on as they entered the harbour, suggesting that they were well aware of the rules.

"We don't want the dinosaurs that go out in boats spoiling the safe record that Hawke's Bay has, so infringement fines are part of the strategy now to drive that message home."

Mr Norman said he would now fine anyone seen breaking the rules.