Installation and Use of Engine Cut-off Switches on Recreational Vessels, 33161-33166 [2011-14140]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations 33 CFR Parts 175 and 183 telephone 202–372–1061, e-mail Jeffrey.A.Ludwig@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. [Docket No. USCG–2009–0206] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: RIN 1625–AB34 Table of Contents for Preamble I. Public Participation and Request for Comments A. Submitting comments B. Viewing comments and documents C. Privacy Act D. Public meeting II. Abbreviations III. Background IV. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion V. Information Requested DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard Installation and Use of Engine Cut-off Switches on Recreational Vessels Coast Guard, DHS. Advance notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard seeks public input on whether changes are needed to the regulations covering standard safety features on certain recreational vessels. Specifically, the Coast Guard is seeking comment on whether it should require engine cut-off switches as a standard safety feature on propulsion machinery and/or starting controls installed on recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length, and whether it should require operators of these recreational vessels to use engine cut-off switches. Comments should address the public safety aspects of the new requirements, as well as the cost implications and regulatory burden. DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before September 6, 2011 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2009–0206 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: If you have questions on this advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, call or email Mr. Jeff Ludwig, Coast Guard; FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 I. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to respond to this advance notice of proposed rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. A. Submitting comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2009–0206), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Proposed Rule’’ and insert ‘‘USCG–2009–0206’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search,’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8c by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33161 B. Viewing comments and documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, insert ‘‘USCG–2009– 0206’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility. C. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). D. Public meeting We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one to the docket using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. In your request, explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. II. Abbreviations ABYC American Boat and Yacht Council BARD (Coast Guard) Boating Accident Report Database CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NBSAC National Boating Safety Advisory Council NMMA National Marine Manufacturers Association PWC Personal Watercraft U.S.C. United States Code III. Background In a recent 5-year period, approximately 82.1 million people annually participated in recreational boating as an outdoor recreation activity E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1 33162 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES in the United States.1 Of that population, approximately 53.8 million people enjoyed recreational boating on a motorized recreational vessel. Unfortunately, motorized recreational boating poses risks, including property damage, human injury, and even death. One of these risks is boating casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational vessel or a propeller. Under 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational Vessels), the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment, and requiring installation, carrying, or use of associated equipment. See 46 U.S.C. 4302(a). The Coast Guard, on behalf of the Secretary, carries out this responsibility. Since the mid-1990s, the Coast Guard has investigated the appropriate course of action to address the recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualty issue, trying to understand the causes of these casualties and determine the best way to prevent them. The Coast Guard has solicited requests for comments on various proposals to reduce recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties, and proposed and withdrawn two separate rulemakings to address this issue. The first rulemaking sought public input on the use of swimming ladders, warning notices, clear aft vision, propeller-shaft engagement alarms, engine cut-off switches, and education to address recreational vessel and propeller strikerelated casualties. See 60 FR 25191 (May 11, 1995) (Request for comments), 61 FR 13123 (March 26, 1996) (Advance notice of proposed rulemaking), 62 FR 22991 (April 28, 1997) (Request for comments). The Coast Guard withdrew this rulemaking because it lacked sufficient data for the proposals at that time. See 66 FR 63650 (December 10, 2001) (Notice of Withdrawal). At the same time the Coast Guard withdrew the first rulemaking, it initiated the second rulemaking focusing on propeller injury mitigation devices commonly referred to as ‘‘propeller guards.’’ The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed requiring owners of certain recreational houseboats to install a propeller guard or use all of the following propeller 1 H. Ken Cordell et al., Long-Term National Trends in Outdoor Recreation Activity Participation—1980 to Now, May 2009 (A Recreation Research Report in the Internet Research Information Series), available at http:// warnell.forestry.uga.edu/nrrt/nsre/IRISRec/ IRISRec12rpt.pdf. (This number represents the estimated number of people, operators, and passengers who participated in recreational boating in 2005–2009). VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 injury avoidance measures: a swim ladder interlock, an aft visibility device, and an engine cut-off switch. 66 FR 63645 (December 10, 2001). The Coast Guard withdrew this rulemaking after public comments raised several issues, including the lack of a practical definition of a houseboat and straightforward performance requirements, and the potential costs of installing propeller guards. 72 FR 59064 (October 18, 2007) (Notice of Withdrawal). In the Notice of Withdrawal, the Coast Guard stated that it is still ‘‘exploring options that would more effectively prevent propeller injuries and impose a smaller burden on the economy,’’ and specifically noted engine cut-off switches and boating safety education. Id. at 59065. In 2006, the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) established a Propeller Injury Working Group to consider the development of educational formats, review of technologies, risk management techniques, accident scenarios, cost benefit analysis, and high-risk recreational vessel definitions and determinations. (NBSAC Resolution # 2005–76–04.) The working group developed four recommendations: (1) Develop a rental vessel education kit, (2) require the installation of engine cut-off switches, (3) require operators to use installed engine cut-off switches, and (4) require operators of vessels to shut off the engine when individuals in the water are within an unsafe distance of the vessel. The NBSAC endorsed these recommendations and forwarded them to the Coast Guard for further consideration. (NBSAC Resolution Nos. 2006–77–01, 2006–77–02, 2006–77–03, and 2006–77–04, found in the docket for this rulemaking.) To address the second and third recommendations involving the installation, maintenance, and use of engine cut-off switches,2 the Coast Guard analyzed 5 years of recreational vessel accident report data to identify casualties that may have been prevented if the recreational vessel operators had used an engine cut-off switch. The results of this analysis are found in ‘‘Casualties Preventable by Use of an Engine Cut-off Switch’’ (the Report, also placed in the docket for this rulemaking).3 Staff members from the Boating Safety Division of the Coast 2 In response to the first recommendation, the Coast Guard developed a rental education kit, which is now available to vessel liveries. The Coast Guard is still considering the fourth recommendation. 3 The Report is available in the docket where indicated under the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ section of this preamble. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety and two civilian boating accident investigation experts (collectively, the reviewers) examined records drawn from the Coast Guard’s Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) of recreational vessel accidents that occurred from 2002 through 2006. The reviewers examined the narrative section of the accident reports for those accidents that they determined would ‘‘likely have been prevented’’ and found that a common cause of the casualties was the operator being absent from the helm because of an accidental ejection or a fall overboard. Id. Appendix B— Accident Descriptions for Preventable Deaths and Injuries. An operator may be ejected or fall overboard from the recreational vessel if, for example, the vessel hits a large wake, turns too sharply, or collides with another vessel or object in the water. When this happens, the recreational vessel will typically continue to operate, usually moving in circles, until it runs out of fuel, runs aground, collides with another object, or is disabled. Because a recreational vessel normally maintains the speed at which it is operating when the operator is ejected or falls overboard, or when the controls are otherwise unattended, it is often difficult for any persons ejected from the vessel or already in the water to swim out of the vessel’s path, which may lead to one or more persons being struck by the vessel, a propeller, or a lower unit of the outboard or sterndrive. A ‘‘runaway’’ recreational vessel may also cause damage by striking vessels or other property. The Coast Guard seeks comment on this list of accidents; specifically, whether casualties likely would have been prevented by the use of engine cutoff switches and whether there are additional accidents that should be included on the list. To increase maritime domain safety and reduce and prevent recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties, the Coast Guard seeks data and information to inform its decision on whether it should require engine cutoff switch installation and use on these vessels. Although many, if not most, propulsion machinery and/or starting controls installed on recreational vessels are currently equipped with an engine cut-off switch, the Report’s accident report narratives, contained in Report Appendices D and E, state that the recreational vessels involved in the accidents continued to move without an operator. The Coast Guard developed this notice after considering both the human factors and equipment failures that E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES cause recreational vessel accidents. As required under 46 U.S.C. 4302(c), the Coast Guard consulted with the NBSAC; considered the need for regulations and the extent to which regulations will contribute to recreational vessel safety, and the relevant available recreational vessel safety standards, statistics, and data, including public and private research, development, testing, and evaluation. We believe that requiring engine cut-off switch use would address identified causes of recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties and support the Coast Guard’s goal of improving maritime domain safety for all recreational boaters and others in and around our navigable waterways. The Coast Guard would like input from the public on the appropriateness of new regulations, and on other issues related to preventing boating casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational vessel or propeller when the operator is separated from the operating controls. IV. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion The Coast Guard seeks input from the public on whether it should add two new subparts to its boating safety regulations: (1) A new subpart E in 33 CFR part 175 would require the maintenance and use of engine cut-off switches, and (2) a new subpart N in 33 CFR part 183 would require the installation of engine cut-off switches. The Coast Guard is considering requirements in subpart E that would cover only those recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in length and are equipped with an engine cut-off switch. Because the Coast Guard does not distinguish PWC (e.g., Sea-Doo®, AquaTrax®, JET SKI®, WaveRunner®) from other recreational vessels, this subpart would cover PWC that meet the length and equipment criteria. The Coast Guard is also considering a new subpart N that would cover propulsion machinery capable of developing static thrust of 115 pounds, approximately 3 horsepower or more, and associated starting controls manufactured for recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in length, including PWC. Engine cut-off switch use and maintenance would be required only for recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length, and engine cut-off switch installation would apply only to the associated equipment on those recreational vessels because these types of vessels are the most common type of recreational vessel and the type of recreational vessel on which the majority of recreational vessel or propeller strike-related accidents VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 occurred from 2002 through 2006. From 2002 through 2006, 82 percent of all reported recreational vessel and propeller strike-related accidents in BARD involved motorized recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length. To determine whether vessel length should be a factor in the analysis in the Report that initiated this rulemaking, the Coast Guard reviewed this data set from BARD and determined that most of the previously reported recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties occurred on recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length. Recreational vessels are registered based on length, and recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in length account for approximately 95 percent of all motorized recreational vessels covering two registration categories: (1) Recreational vessels under 16 feet in length, and (2) recreational vessels 16 feet to less than 26 feet in length.4 A recreational vessel’s registration category is recorded in boating accident reports and subsequently captured in BARD. See generally, ‘‘Casualties Preventable by Use of an Engine Cut-off Switch’’ (analyzing data involving recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length only). Engine cut-off switch installation requirements would apply only to propulsion machinery capable of developing at least 115 pounds of static thrust, and associated starting controls, because this type of machinery is already subject to Coast Guard safety regulations and is likely to already satisfy the proposed requirement. The start-in-gear safety regulations in 33 CFR part 183, subpart L, apply to propulsion machinery capable of developing at least 115 pounds of static thrust; this is the only existing safety requirement that applies to propulsion machinery. Additionally, based on industry information, the Coast Guard estimates that the majority of manufacturers already provide engine cut-off switches for this type of machinery. A. Engine Cut-off Switch Use and Maintenance The Coast Guard believes it would be necessary to add definitions that describe the terms ‘‘engine cut-off switch link,’’ ‘‘engine cut-off switch,’’ ‘‘person,’’ ‘‘propulsion machinery,’’ ‘‘starting control,’’ and ‘‘static thrust.’’ An 4 U.S. Coast Guard, Recreational Boating Statistics 2008, COMDTPUB P16754.21, p. 62, available at http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/ Publications/Boating_Statistics_2008.pdf. (Table 37 shows that of 11,841,281 mechanically propelled registered vessels in 2008, 11,257,369 were less than 26 feet in length (4,989,889 ‘‘under 16 feet;’’ 6,267,480 ‘‘16 to less than 26 feet’’). PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33163 engine cut-off switch is typically a mechanical or electronic device that is connected to the propulsion machinery that will stop the propulsion machinery if the switch is not properly connected, or the switch components are submerged in water or separated from the switch by a predetermined distance. The Coast Guard is considering defining an engine cut-off switch as the piece of equipment that turns the propulsion machinery off, and an engine cut-off switch link as the equipment that is attached to the recreational vessel operator and activates the engine cut-off switch. These proposed definitions would cover current mechanical and electronic wireless devices, as well as new technological developments in engine cut-off switch and link design after the effective date of any final rule resulting from this rulemaking. Under a new subpart N in 33 CFR part 183, those new technological developments would have to be consistent with a consensus industry standard. The Coast Guard is considering, in a new subpart E, requiring recreational vessel operators to attach an engine cutoff switch link for any installed engine cut-off switch to their person, clothing, or life jacket (if worn) when operating a recreational vessel less than 26 feet in length. This requirement, however, would not apply while operators are docking or trailering their recreational vessels. The Coast Guard seeks comments on whether other situations, such as emergencies, should also be excepted from proposed subpart E, and how best to define or describe such situations. The Coast Guard is considering requiring recreational vessel owners to maintain any installed engine cut-off switch and engine cut-off switch link so they function properly while the vessel’s propulsion machinery is in gear. The Coast Guard is considering prohibiting anyone from operating a recreational vessel if the engine cut-off switch has been disabled or removed, or does not function properly. The Coast Guard is also considering enforcement measures to increase the use of engine cut-off switches. To that end, the Coast Guard is considering whether to make persons who fail to comply with the engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements subject to the civil penalties in 46 U.S.C. 4311(c). Section 4311(c) of 46 U.S.C. sets forth a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for violating provisions of 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational Vessels) or any regulations prescribed under Chapter 43, which would include proposed subpart E. If a violation under 46 U.S.C. 4311(c) involves the operation E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1 33164 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES of a recreational vessel, the vessel is also liable in rem for the penalty and could be seized by the Coast Guard. B. Engine Cut-off Switch Installation The Coast Guard is considering requiring new propulsion machinery capable of developing 115 pounds of static thrust or more, or the associated starting controls, to be equipped with an engine cut-off switch and link. All covered newly manufactured, locally operated (‘‘tiller’’) outboards would be required to have an engine cut-off switch and link on the outboard. All covered newly manufactured, remotely operated outboard motors, inboard engines, and sterndrive engines would have to be equipped with starting controls containing an engine cut-off switch and link. If the Coast Guard adopts the installation requirement, the switch and link would have to comply with a consensus industry standard, American Boat & Yacht Council, Inc. (ABYC) A–33, Emergency Engine/ Propulsion Cut-Off Devices (2009), which the Coast Guard would incorporate by reference into regulations. The Coast Guard is considering excluding starting controls installed inside a wheelhouse, cabin, or other permanent enclosure on a recreational vessel because there is a lesser likelihood of an operator being ejected or falling overboard from an enclosed space. The Coast Guard seeks comment on this exemption and on whether other groups of vessels should be exempted from engine cut-off switch installation. The Coast Guard would like input from the public on how to phase-in any installation requirements. The Coast Guard is considering designating ‘‘new’’ propulsion machinery and starting controls as any such machinery or controls manufactured on or after January 1 of the second year following the year of the effective date of any final rule resulting from this rulemaking. For example, if a final rule became effective in January or December of 2012, manufacturers of propulsion machinery and starting controls would be required to comply with the rule by January 1, 2014. We seek comments on whether this 12–24 month implementation period would provide sufficient time to implement these proposed requirements. The Coast Guard is also considering requiring manufacturers, distributors, and dealers installing new propulsion machinery and associated starting controls on a recreational vessel less than 26 feet in length to ensure that the propulsion machinery or starting control is equipped with an engine cut- VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 off switch and link that complies with a consensus industry standard incorporated by reference into the regulations. The Coast Guard is considering covering under the requirements installations by manufacturers, distributors, and dealers on new recreational vessels as well as existing recreational vessels. While the Coast Guard is considering covering any propulsion machinery and starting control replacements made by manufacturers, distributors, and dealers on existing boats, the Coast Guard is considering not requiring such replacements or any retrofitting of existing propulsion machinery and starting controls. The Coast Guard is considering delaying the installation requirement so that it does not apply until July 1 of the second year following the year of the effective date of any final rule resulting from this rulemaking. The Coast Guard seeks comment on whether this 6-month delay, from the date that manufacturers would be required to provide engine cut-off switches on propulsion machinery or starting controls, would provide enough time for manufacturers, distributors, and dealers to have compliant propulsion machinery and starting controls for installation.5 The Coast Guard is considering including definitions for the terms ‘‘engine cut-off switch link,’’ ‘‘engine cutoff switch,’’ ‘‘person,’’ ‘‘propulsion machinery,’’ ‘‘starting control,’’ and ‘‘static thrust.’’ These potential definitions would also apply to engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements. The Coast Guard is also considering including definitions for the terms ‘‘dealer,’’ ‘‘distributor,’’ and ‘‘manufacturer,’’ which would be adopted from 33 CFR 183.705. 5 The Coast Guard must provide at least 180 days between publication of the final rule and the effective date of the final rule. See 46 U.S.C. 4302(b). For any final rule involving ‘‘major product design, retooling, or major changes in the manufacturing process,’’ the Coast Guard must make the rule effective within 24 months or less. Id. The Coast Guard does not consider proposed subpart N to involve a ‘‘major product design, retooling, or major changes in the manufacturing process’’ because the proposed requirement for propulsion machinery involves minor engineering adjustments to add engine cut-off switch capability to any currently manufactured propulsion machinery not equipped with this capability, and the installation requirements do not affect product design, retooling, or the manufacturing process. Therefore, only the 180-day delayed effective date statutory requirement applies to this rulemaking, and the 12– 24 month implementation period for the proposed requirement that manufacturer provide engine cutoff switches on propulsion machinery and starting controls, and the 18–30 month implementation period (in order to include a 6-month delay, discussed in the text) for the proposed requirement covering installations, would satisfy this statutory requirement. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 In order to bolster the importance and deterrent effect of the regulations in 33 CFR part 183, thereby preventing maritime deaths and injuries, the Coast Guard is considering making any person who fails to comply with engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements subject to civil (and possibly criminal) penalties under 46 U.S.C. 4311. In addition to the civil penalties under § 4311(c) discussed in relation to engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements, § 4311(b)(1) sets forth a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for violating 46 U.S.C. 4307(a), which prohibits a person from manufacturing, constructing, assembling, selling, or offering for sale, a recreational vessel, associated equipment, or a component of either, unless it conforms to 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational Vessels) or any regulations prescribed under Chapter 43, which currently includes all regulations in 33 CFR part 183 and would also include installation requirements. Because the penalties in 46 U.S.C. 4311 currently apply to violations of any requirement in 33 CFR part 183, and would apply to violations of proposed installation requirements if made final, the Coast Guard is considering whether to add explicit language to its regulations incorporating these penalties. The Coast Guard is considering adding references to these statutory penalty provisions for clarity and to ensure that anyone reading Coast Guard regulations in part 183 understands that there are specific penalties, explicitly provided for by statute, for violating any regulation in part 183. Adding the reference to the statutory penalty provisions into the regulations would not create any new penalties. C. Preemption The engine cut-off switch requirements discussed here would preempt those State laws on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that are not identical to any final rule resulting from this rulemaking, and would create a national standard for engine cut-off switch installation and use. Currently, five States (Alabama,6 6 Ala. Code 1975 § 33–5–72(a) (2009) (‘‘It shall be unlawful on the waters of this state for any person to operate, or give permission to another person to operate, any vessel less than 24 feet in length having an open construction and having more than 50 horsepower, unless the vessel is equipped with an emergency engine or motor shut-off switch.’’). E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES Arkansas,7 Louisiana,8 Illinois,9 and Nevada10) have already enacted their own requirements for recreational vessel operators to use engine cut-off switches, and 46 States11 have enacted engine cutoff switch requirements for personal watercraft (PWC) only. Pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 4306, Federal regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment and establishing procedures and tests required to measure conformance with those standards preempt State law, unless the State law is identical to a Federal regulation or a State is specifically provided an exemption to those regulations or permitted to regulate marine safety articles carried or used to address a hazardous condition or circumstance unique to that State. Because of this express preemption, States may not establish, continue in effect, or enforce any law or regulation addressing engine cut-off switch requirements that is not identical to any 7 A.C.A. § 27–101–203(e)(1)(A) (2009) (‘‘No person shall operate a motorboat equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch while the engine is used to propel the boat without attaching the lanyard to the operator, the operator’s clothing, or, if the operator is wearing a personal flotation device, to the device as appropriate for the specific vessel’’). 8 LAC 76:XI.111.C (2009) (‘‘No person shall operate a Class A or Class One motorboat with a hand tiller outboard motor in excess of ten horsepower designed to have or having an engine cut-off switch, while the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, unless the engine cut-off switch is fully functional and in operable condition; and the engine cut-off switch link is attached to the operator, the operator’s clothing, or if worn, the operator’s personal flotation device’’). 9 625 ILSC 45/4–11 (2009) (‘‘No person may operate any motor boat, including personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, which is equipped with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch unless such lanyard is properly attached to his or her person, clothing or worn PFD, as appropriate for the specific vessel.’’) 10 N.R.S. 488.585.1 (2009) (‘‘A person who owns or controls a motorboat that is equipped with an engine cut-off switch shall not operate or authorize another person to operate the motorboat at a rate of speed greater than 5 nautical miles per hour if the engine cut-off switch or engine cut-off switch link is missing, disconnected or not operating properly’’). 11 See National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Reference Guide to State Boating Laws available at http://www.nasbla.net/ referenceguide/index.php?queryID=4.8. Some States require use of a cut-off device if the device is present. See e.g., Arizona Revised Statues § 5– 350.B (‘‘A person who operates a personal watercraft that is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch shall attach the lanyard to his body, clothing or personal flotation device as appropriate for the specific watercraft’’). Others States require personal watercraft to have either a cut-off device or selfcircling device. See e.g., 23 Delaware Code § 2212(d) (‘‘No person shall operate a personal watercraft unless the personal watercraft is equipped with a self-circling device or a lanyardtype engine cut-off switch * * *). VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 final rule resulting from this rulemaking. The Coast Guard seeks comments, specifically from States, regarding this proposal’s preemption of State laws. V. Information Requested The Coast Guard requests comments on engine cut-off switch devices and other information that would assist us with this proposal. We have provided the following list of specific questions to guide commenters in providing input that will assist us with developing this proposal. Please support your input with quantitative data where possible and include sources and complete citations for any quantitative data. 1. Recreational boating accidents can cause a variety of negative impacts, including loss of life, injuries, and property damage. As described above and based on the report ‘‘Casualties Preventable by Use of an Engine Cut-off Switch,’’ a causal factor in recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties is the recreational vessel operator being separated from the helm because of an accidental ejection or a fall overboard. Data from this report suggests that the use of an engine cutoff switch would reduce the risk of boating casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational vessel or propeller when the operator is separated from the helm. In addition to this information, are there other sources of data or information detailing benefits or avoided damages which may result from the use of engine cut-off switches? 2. What vessel types should be considered for mandatory engine cut-off switch requirements (e.g., all motor vessels, motor vessels with hand-tiller motors, PWCs, houseboats)? 3. What vessel lengths should not be considered for mandatory engine cut-off switch requirements (e.g., motor vessels greater than 26 feet in length)? 4. What engine power (‘‘horsepower ’’) measures should be considered for mandatory engine cut-off switch requirements (e.g., engines greater than 3 horsepower)? 5. What other engine or vessel features should the Coast Guard consider to determine the boating population that should be covered by engine cut-off switch requirements? 6. Based on information provided by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), manufacturers have been routinely installing engine cut-off switches on engines or their associated starting controls.12 What data 12 According to National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), ‘‘for more than ten years, many of the motorboats on the market have been PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33165 exists to estimate the percentage of recreational vessels and engines that have engine cut-off switches provided as standard equipment? 7. How many and what types of recreational vessels or engines do not have engine cut-off switches provided as standard equipment (e.g., boats constructed by owner)? 8. According to a report by the Outdoor Foundation in partnership with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, one measure of the number of outings or trips for non-commercial recreational vessels is 15 per year for powerboat users.13 Are there any additional sources documenting the number of trips for recreational vessels or recreational vessel use rates by vessel types? 9. Similarly, are there any sources documenting the average number of trips commercial operators of recreational vessels make in a year? 10. What is the average number of times an engine cut-off switch lanyard or device would be attached and detached in a trip by the vessel operator? 11. What is the average amount of time it would take for a vessel operator to attach or detach the lanyard? 12. How would operators and passengers be impacted by the number of times an engine cut-off switch is attached and detached by the vessel operator? How should the Coast Guard consider the potential ‘‘hassle factor’’ associated with using an engine cut-off switch? 13. If a vessel or engine currently does not have an engine cut-off switch installed, what are the installation costs, separated out into parts and labor categories? 14. What is the average lifespan of an engine cut-off switch? 15. What are the associated maintenance and replacement costs of engine cut-off switch devices? 16. What is the recommended lanyard replacement schedule? How often are lanyards replaced? What is the average cost of the lanyard replacement? When operating a recreational vessel equipped with an engine cut-off switch, does the operator purchase and maintain a spare lanyard? 17. How many boaters use wireless engine cut-off switch devices? What percentage of total cut-off switch use equipped with engine cut-off switches’’. (Press release, April 10, 2006: http://www.nmma.org/ news/news.asp?id=12346&sid=43) 13 The Outdoor Foundation in partnership with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, ‘‘A Special Report on Fishing and Boating’’, 2009, page 36 (see http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/ research.fishing.html). E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with RULES 33166 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 110 / Wednesday, June 8, 2011 / Rules and Regulations does this represent? What percentage of these wireless devices are standard (original) equipment on vessels and engines? What are the installation and maintenance costs (labor and equipment) of wireless devices? What is the expected lifespan of wireless devices? Are there any special performance or failure issues unique to wireless devices? 18. How would this proposal change boater preference for wireless engine cut-off switch devices? Would boaters choose more expensive wireless systems over standard non-wireless systems? If so, why and how many? 19. As a result of this proposal, would vessel and engine manufacturers adopt wireless technology as standard equipment? 20. Would this proposal increase the use and wear of engine cut-off switch devices over and above the manufacturer’s recommended use? Would this proposal increase the replacement costs of engine cut-off switch devices? 21. What is the risk of unintended activations of engine cut-off switch devices? What is the current estimated rate of unintended activations? What are the impacts of unintended activations? Are there any injuries or fatalities associated with unintended activations? 22. What is the risk of engine cut-off switch device failure (i.e., engine does not cut off when operator is ejected)? What is the current estimated rate of engine cut-off switch device failures? What are the impacts of engine cut-off switch device failures? Are there any injuries or fatalities associated with engine cut-off switch device failures? 23. What data or information exists that could be used to estimate compliance rates of this proposal? What data exists to estimate how compliance with proposal will change from initial phase-in to full implementation? 24. How would the challenge to visually inspect from a distance whether an engine cut-off switch device is being used affect compliance with engine cutoff switch device requirements? 25. What are the compliance rates with State laws that require use of engine cut-off switch devices? 26. What is the voluntary use rate of engine cut-off switch devices in States without engine cut-off switch device laws? 27. Five States (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, and Nevada) currently require boaters to use engine cut-off devices on certain recreational vessels. What other State laws are being developed for engine cut-off switch device regulations? Please provide any data or information from the VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:41 Jun 07, 2011 Jkt 223001 implementation or development of these State regulations to assist the Coast Guard as it considers whether to require engine cut-off switch device use. 28. What are the costs associated with implementation of State laws requiring mandatory use of engine cut-off switch devices? 29. What is the effectiveness based on the reduction in fatalities, injuries, and property damage from recent changes in State laws regarding the use of engine cut-off switch devices? Dated: June 2, 2011. Kevin S. Cook, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy. [FR Doc. 2011–14140 Filed 6–7–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Parts 211, 246, and 252 RIN 0750–AG74 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS); Warranty Tracking of Serialized Items, DFARS Case 2009–D018 Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: DoD is issuing a final rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a policy memorandum of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics dated February 6, 2007, which required definition of the requirements to track warranties for Item Unique Identification-required items in the DoD Item Unique Identification Registry. This final rule stresses that the enforcement of warranties is essential to the effectiveness and efficiency of DoD’s material readiness. DATES: Effective date: June 8, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Julian Thrash, 703–602–0310. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background The Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics issued a policy memorandum dated February 6, 2007, which instructed the Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy to define the requirements to track warranties for Item Unique Identification-required PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 items in the DoD Item Unique Identification Registry. The capability to track warranties will significantly enhance the ability of DoD to— • Identify and enforce warranties; • Ensure sufficient durations of warranties for specific goods; and • Realize improved material readiness. DoD issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 75 FR 52917 on August 30, 2010, to address the requirement to more effectively track warranties for Item Unique Identification items. The comment period closed October 29, 2010. II. Public Comment One respondent submitted comments to the proposed rule, which are discussed below. Comment: The respondent states that while the unique item identification requirement was not established for the purpose of tracking warranty items, its use as a warranty-tracking methodology would result in increased costs for contractors and the Government. The addition of warranted items to DFARS 211.274–2 will expand the criteria for selecting the items to be uniquely identified. Today, that determination is based almost completely on the value of the item. Warranted items may or may not meet the value criterion established for determining what should be uniquely identified and marked. An application of unique item identification to warranted items may cause a part to be covered by unique item identification under a contract calling for warranty and not covered by unique item identification on another contract without warranty. Response: This requirement applies to any ‘‘warranted serialized item,’’ and a clarifying change was made at 211.274– 2(4)(iii) by adding the term ‘‘any warranted serialized item.’’ Comment: The respondent also recommends that DoD not publish a final rule on warranty tracking of serialized items. Response: DoD requires a more effective way to track warranties for Item Unique Identification items. Presently, DoD lacks the enterprise capability to provide visibility and accountability of warranty data associated with acquired goods. The tracking of warranties, from the identification of the requirement to the expiration date of the warranted item, will significantly enhance the ability of DoD to take full advantage of warranties when they are part of an acquisition. This will result in reduced costs, ability to recognize benefits, and the ability to compare performance against E:\FR\FM\08JNR1.SGM 08JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 110 (Wednesday, June 8, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33161-33166]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14140]



[[Page 33161]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Parts 175 and 183

[Docket No. USCG-2009-0206]
RIN 1625-AB34


Installation and Use of Engine Cut-off Switches on Recreational 
Vessels

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard seeks public input on whether changes are 
needed to the regulations covering standard safety features on certain 
recreational vessels. Specifically, the Coast Guard is seeking comment 
on whether it should require engine cut-off switches as a standard 
safety feature on propulsion machinery and/or starting controls 
installed on recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length, and 
whether it should require operators of these recreational vessels to 
use engine cut-off switches. Comments should address the public safety 
aspects of the new requirements, as well as the cost implications and 
regulatory burden.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before September 6, 
2011 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2009-0206 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this advanced 
notice of proposed rulemaking, call or e-mail Mr. Jeff Ludwig, Coast 
Guard; telephone 202-372-1061, e-mail Jeffrey.A.Ludwig@uscg.mil. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call 
Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-
9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting comments
    B. Viewing comments and documents
    C. Privacy Act
    D. Public meeting
II. Abbreviations
III. Background
IV. Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion
V. Information Requested

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to respond to this advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments 
received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov 
and will include any personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2009-0206), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your 
document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your 
submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Proposed Rule'' and insert ``USCG-2009-0206'' in the ``Keyword'' box. 
Click ``Search,'' then click on the balloon shape in the ``Actions'' 
column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit 
them in an unbound format, no larger than 8[frac12] by 11 inches, 
suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail 
and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a 
stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all 
comments and material received during the comment period.

B. Viewing comments and documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted 
in blue. In the ``Keyword'' box, insert ``USCG-2009-0206'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

D. Public meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a 
request for one to the docket using one of the methods specified under 
ADDRESSES. In your request, explain why you believe a public meeting 
would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this 
rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later 
notice in the Federal Register.

II. Abbreviations

    ABYC American Boat and Yacht Council
    BARD (Coast Guard) Boating Accident Report Database
    CFR Code of Federal Regulations
    DHS Department of Homeland Security
    FR Federal Register
    NBSAC National Boating Safety Advisory Council
    NMMA National Marine Manufacturers Association
    PWC Personal Watercraft
    U.S.C. United States Code

III. Background

    In a recent 5-year period, approximately 82.1 million people 
annually participated in recreational boating as an outdoor recreation 
activity

[[Page 33162]]

in the United States.\1\ Of that population, approximately 53.8 million 
people enjoyed recreational boating on a motorized recreational vessel. 
Unfortunately, motorized recreational boating poses risks, including 
property damage, human injury, and even death. One of these risks is 
boating casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational 
vessel or a propeller. Under 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational 
Vessels), the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is 
responsible for establishing minimum safety standards for recreational 
vessels and associated equipment, and requiring installation, carrying, 
or use of associated equipment. See 46 U.S.C. 4302(a). The Coast Guard, 
on behalf of the Secretary, carries out this responsibility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ H. Ken Cordell et al., Long-Term National Trends in Outdoor 
Recreation Activity Participation--1980 to Now, May 2009 (A 
Recreation Research Report in the Internet Research Information 
Series), available at http://warnell.forestry.uga.edu/nrrt/nsre/IRISRec/IRISRec12rpt.pdf. (This number represents the estimated 
number of people, operators, and passengers who participated in 
recreational boating in 2005-2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Since the mid-1990s, the Coast Guard has investigated the 
appropriate course of action to address the recreational vessel and 
propeller strike-related casualty issue, trying to understand the 
causes of these casualties and determine the best way to prevent them. 
The Coast Guard has solicited requests for comments on various 
proposals to reduce recreational vessel and propeller strike-related 
casualties, and proposed and withdrawn two separate rulemakings to 
address this issue. The first rulemaking sought public input on the use 
of swimming ladders, warning notices, clear aft vision, propeller-shaft 
engagement alarms, engine cut-off switches, and education to address 
recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties. See 60 FR 
25191 (May 11, 1995) (Request for comments), 61 FR 13123 (March 26, 
1996) (Advance notice of proposed rulemaking), 62 FR 22991 (April 28, 
1997) (Request for comments). The Coast Guard withdrew this rulemaking 
because it lacked sufficient data for the proposals at that time. See 
66 FR 63650 (December 10, 2001) (Notice of Withdrawal).
    At the same time the Coast Guard withdrew the first rulemaking, it 
initiated the second rulemaking focusing on propeller injury mitigation 
devices commonly referred to as ``propeller guards.'' The notice of 
proposed rulemaking proposed requiring owners of certain recreational 
houseboats to install a propeller guard or use all of the following 
propeller injury avoidance measures: a swim ladder interlock, an aft 
visibility device, and an engine cut-off switch. 66 FR 63645 (December 
10, 2001). The Coast Guard withdrew this rulemaking after public 
comments raised several issues, including the lack of a practical 
definition of a houseboat and straightforward performance requirements, 
and the potential costs of installing propeller guards. 72 FR 59064 
(October 18, 2007) (Notice of Withdrawal). In the Notice of Withdrawal, 
the Coast Guard stated that it is still ``exploring options that would 
more effectively prevent propeller injuries and impose a smaller burden 
on the economy,'' and specifically noted engine cut-off switches and 
boating safety education. Id. at 59065.
    In 2006, the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) 
established a Propeller Injury Working Group to consider the 
development of educational formats, review of technologies, risk 
management techniques, accident scenarios, cost benefit analysis, and 
high-risk recreational vessel definitions and determinations. (NBSAC 
Resolution  2005-76-04.) The working group developed four 
recommendations: (1) Develop a rental vessel education kit, (2) require 
the installation of engine cut-off switches, (3) require operators to 
use installed engine cut-off switches, and (4) require operators of 
vessels to shut off the engine when individuals in the water are within 
an unsafe distance of the vessel. The NBSAC endorsed these 
recommendations and forwarded them to the Coast Guard for further 
consideration. (NBSAC Resolution Nos. 2006-77-01, 2006-77-02, 2006-77-
03, and 2006-77-04, found in the docket for this rulemaking.)
    To address the second and third recommendations involving the 
installation, maintenance, and use of engine cut-off switches,\2\ the 
Coast Guard analyzed 5 years of recreational vessel accident report 
data to identify casualties that may have been prevented if the 
recreational vessel operators had used an engine cut-off switch. The 
results of this analysis are found in ``Casualties Preventable by Use 
of an Engine Cut-off Switch'' (the Report, also placed in the docket 
for this rulemaking).\3\ Staff members from the Boating Safety Division 
of the Coast Guard's Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety and two 
civilian boating accident investigation experts (collectively, the 
reviewers) examined records drawn from the Coast Guard's Boating 
Accident Report Database (BARD) of recreational vessel accidents that 
occurred from 2002 through 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ In response to the first recommendation, the Coast Guard 
developed a rental education kit, which is now available to vessel 
liveries. The Coast Guard is still considering the fourth 
recommendation.
    \3\ The Report is available in the docket where indicated under 
the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' section of 
this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The reviewers examined the narrative section of the accident 
reports for those accidents that they determined would ``likely have 
been prevented'' and found that a common cause of the casualties was 
the operator being absent from the helm because of an accidental 
ejection or a fall overboard. Id. Appendix B--Accident Descriptions for 
Preventable Deaths and Injuries. An operator may be ejected or fall 
overboard from the recreational vessel if, for example, the vessel hits 
a large wake, turns too sharply, or collides with another vessel or 
object in the water. When this happens, the recreational vessel will 
typically continue to operate, usually moving in circles, until it runs 
out of fuel, runs aground, collides with another object, or is 
disabled. Because a recreational vessel normally maintains the speed at 
which it is operating when the operator is ejected or falls overboard, 
or when the controls are otherwise unattended, it is often difficult 
for any persons ejected from the vessel or already in the water to swim 
out of the vessel's path, which may lead to one or more persons being 
struck by the vessel, a propeller, or a lower unit of the outboard or 
sterndrive. A ``runaway'' recreational vessel may also cause damage by 
striking vessels or other property.
    The Coast Guard seeks comment on this list of accidents; 
specifically, whether casualties likely would have been prevented by 
the use of engine cut-off switches and whether there are additional 
accidents that should be included on the list.
    To increase maritime domain safety and reduce and prevent 
recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties, the Coast 
Guard seeks data and information to inform its decision on whether it 
should require engine cut-off switch installation and use on these 
vessels. Although many, if not most, propulsion machinery and/or 
starting controls installed on recreational vessels are currently 
equipped with an engine cut-off switch, the Report's accident report 
narratives, contained in Report Appendices D and E, state that the 
recreational vessels involved in the accidents continued to move 
without an operator.
    The Coast Guard developed this notice after considering both the 
human factors and equipment failures that

[[Page 33163]]

cause recreational vessel accidents. As required under 46 U.S.C. 
4302(c), the Coast Guard consulted with the NBSAC; considered the need 
for regulations and the extent to which regulations will contribute to 
recreational vessel safety, and the relevant available recreational 
vessel safety standards, statistics, and data, including public and 
private research, development, testing, and evaluation. We believe that 
requiring engine cut-off switch use would address identified causes of 
recreational vessel and propeller strike-related casualties and support 
the Coast Guard's goal of improving maritime domain safety for all 
recreational boaters and others in and around our navigable waterways. 
The Coast Guard would like input from the public on the appropriateness 
of new regulations, and on other issues related to preventing boating 
casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational vessel or 
propeller when the operator is separated from the operating controls.

IV. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Discussion

    The Coast Guard seeks input from the public on whether it should 
add two new subparts to its boating safety regulations: (1) A new 
subpart E in 33 CFR part 175 would require the maintenance and use of 
engine cut-off switches, and (2) a new subpart N in 33 CFR part 183 
would require the installation of engine cut-off switches. The Coast 
Guard is considering requirements in subpart E that would cover only 
those recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in length and are 
equipped with an engine cut-off switch. Because the Coast Guard does 
not distinguish PWC (e.g., Sea-Doo[reg], AquaTrax[reg], JET SKI[reg], 
WaveRunner[reg]) from other recreational vessels, this subpart would 
cover PWC that meet the length and equipment criteria. The Coast Guard 
is also considering a new subpart N that would cover propulsion 
machinery capable of developing static thrust of 115 pounds, 
approximately 3 horsepower or more, and associated starting controls 
manufactured for recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in 
length, including PWC.
    Engine cut-off switch use and maintenance would be required only 
for recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length, and engine cut-
off switch installation would apply only to the associated equipment on 
those recreational vessels because these types of vessels are the most 
common type of recreational vessel and the type of recreational vessel 
on which the majority of recreational vessel or propeller strike-
related accidents occurred from 2002 through 2006. From 2002 through 
2006, 82 percent of all reported recreational vessel and propeller 
strike-related accidents in BARD involved motorized recreational 
vessels less than 26 feet in length. To determine whether vessel length 
should be a factor in the analysis in the Report that initiated this 
rulemaking, the Coast Guard reviewed this data set from BARD and 
determined that most of the previously reported recreational vessel and 
propeller strike-related casualties occurred on recreational vessels 
less than 26 feet in length.
    Recreational vessels are registered based on length, and 
recreational vessels that are less than 26 feet in length account for 
approximately 95 percent of all motorized recreational vessels covering 
two registration categories: (1) Recreational vessels under 16 feet in 
length, and (2) recreational vessels 16 feet to less than 26 feet in 
length.\4\ A recreational vessel's registration category is recorded in 
boating accident reports and subsequently captured in BARD. See 
generally, ``Casualties Preventable by Use of an Engine Cut-off 
Switch'' (analyzing data involving recreational vessels less than 26 
feet in length only).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ U.S. Coast Guard, Recreational Boating Statistics 2008, 
COMDTPUB P16754.21, p. 62, available at http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/Publications/Boating_Statistics_2008.pdf. (Table 37 shows 
that of 11,841,281 mechanically propelled registered vessels in 
2008, 11,257,369 were less than 26 feet in length (4,989,889 ``under 
16 feet;'' 6,267,480 ``16 to less than 26 feet'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Engine cut-off switch installation requirements would apply only to 
propulsion machinery capable of developing at least 115 pounds of 
static thrust, and associated starting controls, because this type of 
machinery is already subject to Coast Guard safety regulations and is 
likely to already satisfy the proposed requirement. The start-in-gear 
safety regulations in 33 CFR part 183, subpart L, apply to propulsion 
machinery capable of developing at least 115 pounds of static thrust; 
this is the only existing safety requirement that applies to propulsion 
machinery. Additionally, based on industry information, the Coast Guard 
estimates that the majority of manufacturers already provide engine 
cut-off switches for this type of machinery.

A. Engine Cut-off Switch Use and Maintenance

    The Coast Guard believes it would be necessary to add definitions 
that describe the terms ``engine cut-off switch link,'' ``engine cut-
off switch,'' ``person,'' ``propulsion machinery,'' ``starting 
control,'' and ``static thrust.'' An engine cut-off switch is typically 
a mechanical or electronic device that is connected to the propulsion 
machinery that will stop the propulsion machinery if the switch is not 
properly connected, or the switch components are submerged in water or 
separated from the switch by a predetermined distance. The Coast Guard 
is considering defining an engine cut-off switch as the piece of 
equipment that turns the propulsion machinery off, and an engine cut-
off switch link as the equipment that is attached to the recreational 
vessel operator and activates the engine cut-off switch. These proposed 
definitions would cover current mechanical and electronic wireless 
devices, as well as new technological developments in engine cut-off 
switch and link design after the effective date of any final rule 
resulting from this rulemaking. Under a new subpart N in 33 CFR part 
183, those new technological developments would have to be consistent 
with a consensus industry standard.
    The Coast Guard is considering, in a new subpart E, requiring 
recreational vessel operators to attach an engine cut-off switch link 
for any installed engine cut-off switch to their person, clothing, or 
life jacket (if worn) when operating a recreational vessel less than 26 
feet in length. This requirement, however, would not apply while 
operators are docking or trailering their recreational vessels. The 
Coast Guard seeks comments on whether other situations, such as 
emergencies, should also be excepted from proposed subpart E, and how 
best to define or describe such situations.
    The Coast Guard is considering requiring recreational vessel owners 
to maintain any installed engine cut-off switch and engine cut-off 
switch link so they function properly while the vessel's propulsion 
machinery is in gear. The Coast Guard is considering prohibiting anyone 
from operating a recreational vessel if the engine cut-off switch has 
been disabled or removed, or does not function properly.
    The Coast Guard is also considering enforcement measures to 
increase the use of engine cut-off switches. To that end, the Coast 
Guard is considering whether to make persons who fail to comply with 
the engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements subject to 
the civil penalties in 46 U.S.C. 4311(c). Section 4311(c) of 46 U.S.C. 
sets forth a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for violating 
provisions of 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational Vessels) or any 
regulations prescribed under Chapter 43, which would include proposed 
subpart E. If a violation under 46 U.S.C. 4311(c) involves the 
operation

[[Page 33164]]

of a recreational vessel, the vessel is also liable in rem for the 
penalty and could be seized by the Coast Guard.

B. Engine Cut-off Switch Installation

    The Coast Guard is considering requiring new propulsion machinery 
capable of developing 115 pounds of static thrust or more, or the 
associated starting controls, to be equipped with an engine cut-off 
switch and link. All covered newly manufactured, locally operated 
(``tiller'') outboards would be required to have an engine cut-off 
switch and link on the outboard. All covered newly manufactured, 
remotely operated outboard motors, inboard engines, and sterndrive 
engines would have to be equipped with starting controls containing an 
engine cut-off switch and link. If the Coast Guard adopts the 
installation requirement, the switch and link would have to comply with 
a consensus industry standard, American Boat & Yacht Council, Inc. 
(ABYC) A-33, Emergency Engine/Propulsion Cut-Off Devices (2009), which 
the Coast Guard would incorporate by reference into regulations. The 
Coast Guard is considering excluding starting controls installed inside 
a wheelhouse, cabin, or other permanent enclosure on a recreational 
vessel because there is a lesser likelihood of an operator being 
ejected or falling overboard from an enclosed space. The Coast Guard 
seeks comment on this exemption and on whether other groups of vessels 
should be exempted from engine cut-off switch installation.
    The Coast Guard would like input from the public on how to phase-in 
any installation requirements. The Coast Guard is considering 
designating ``new'' propulsion machinery and starting controls as any 
such machinery or controls manufactured on or after January 1 of the 
second year following the year of the effective date of any final rule 
resulting from this rulemaking. For example, if a final rule became 
effective in January or December of 2012, manufacturers of propulsion 
machinery and starting controls would be required to comply with the 
rule by January 1, 2014. We seek comments on whether this 12-24 month 
implementation period would provide sufficient time to implement these 
proposed requirements.
    The Coast Guard is also considering requiring manufacturers, 
distributors, and dealers installing new propulsion machinery and 
associated starting controls on a recreational vessel less than 26 feet 
in length to ensure that the propulsion machinery or starting control 
is equipped with an engine cut-off switch and link that complies with a 
consensus industry standard incorporated by reference into the 
regulations. The Coast Guard is considering covering under the 
requirements installations by manufacturers, distributors, and dealers 
on new recreational vessels as well as existing recreational vessels. 
While the Coast Guard is considering covering any propulsion machinery 
and starting control replacements made by manufacturers, distributors, 
and dealers on existing boats, the Coast Guard is considering not 
requiring such replacements or any retrofitting of existing propulsion 
machinery and starting controls.
    The Coast Guard is considering delaying the installation 
requirement so that it does not apply until July 1 of the second year 
following the year of the effective date of any final rule resulting 
from this rulemaking. The Coast Guard seeks comment on whether this 6-
month delay, from the date that manufacturers would be required to 
provide engine cut-off switches on propulsion machinery or starting 
controls, would provide enough time for manufacturers, distributors, 
and dealers to have compliant propulsion machinery and starting 
controls for installation.\5\
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    \5\ The Coast Guard must provide at least 180 days between 
publication of the final rule and the effective date of the final 
rule. See 46 U.S.C. 4302(b). For any final rule involving ``major 
product design, retooling, or major changes in the manufacturing 
process,'' the Coast Guard must make the rule effective within 24 
months or less. Id. The Coast Guard does not consider proposed 
subpart N to involve a ``major product design, retooling, or major 
changes in the manufacturing process'' because the proposed 
requirement for propulsion machinery involves minor engineering 
adjustments to add engine cut-off switch capability to any currently 
manufactured propulsion machinery not equipped with this capability, 
and the installation requirements do not affect product design, 
retooling, or the manufacturing process. Therefore, only the 180-day 
delayed effective date statutory requirement applies to this 
rulemaking, and the 12-24 month implementation period for the 
proposed requirement that manufacturer provide engine cut-off 
switches on propulsion machinery and starting controls, and the 18-
30 month implementation period (in order to include a 6-month delay, 
discussed in the text) for the proposed requirement covering 
installations, would satisfy this statutory requirement.
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    The Coast Guard is considering including definitions for the terms 
``engine cut-off switch link,'' ``engine cut-off switch,'' ``person,'' 
``propulsion machinery,'' ``starting control,'' and ``static thrust.'' 
These potential definitions would also apply to engine cut-off switch 
use and maintenance requirements. The Coast Guard is also considering 
including definitions for the terms ``dealer,'' ``distributor,'' and 
``manufacturer,'' which would be adopted from 33 CFR 183.705.
    In order to bolster the importance and deterrent effect of the 
regulations in 33 CFR part 183, thereby preventing maritime deaths and 
injuries, the Coast Guard is considering making any person who fails to 
comply with engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements 
subject to civil (and possibly criminal) penalties under 46 U.S.C. 
4311. In addition to the civil penalties under Sec.  4311(c) discussed 
in relation to engine cut-off switch use and maintenance requirements, 
Sec.  4311(b)(1) sets forth a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for 
violating 46 U.S.C. 4307(a), which prohibits a person from 
manufacturing, constructing, assembling, selling, or offering for sale, 
a recreational vessel, associated equipment, or a component of either, 
unless it conforms to 46 U.S.C. Chapter 43 (Recreational Vessels) or 
any regulations prescribed under Chapter 43, which currently includes 
all regulations in 33 CFR part 183 and would also include installation 
requirements. Because the penalties in 46 U.S.C. 4311 currently apply 
to violations of any requirement in 33 CFR part 183, and would apply to 
violations of proposed installation requirements if made final, the 
Coast Guard is considering whether to add explicit language to its 
regulations incorporating these penalties. The Coast Guard is 
considering adding references to these statutory penalty provisions for 
clarity and to ensure that anyone reading Coast Guard regulations in 
part 183 understands that there are specific penalties, explicitly 
provided for by statute, for violating any regulation in part 183. 
Adding the reference to the statutory penalty provisions into the 
regulations would not create any new penalties.

C. Preemption

    The engine cut-off switch requirements discussed here would preempt 
those State laws on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United 
States that are not identical to any final rule resulting from this 
rulemaking, and would create a national standard for engine cut-off 
switch installation and use. Currently, five States (Alabama,\6\

[[Page 33165]]

Arkansas,\7\ Louisiana,\8\ Illinois,\9\ and Nevada\10\) have already 
enacted their own requirements for recreational vessel operators to use 
engine cut-off switches, and 46 States\11\ have enacted engine cut-off 
switch requirements for personal watercraft (PWC) only.
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    \6\ Ala. Code 1975 Sec.  33-5-72(a) (2009) (``It shall be 
unlawful on the waters of this state for any person to operate, or 
give permission to another person to operate, any vessel less than 
24 feet in length having an open construction and having more than 
50 horsepower, unless the vessel is equipped with an emergency 
engine or motor shut-off switch.'').
    \7\ A.C.A. Sec.  27-101-203(e)(1)(A) (2009) (``No person shall 
operate a motorboat equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type 
engine cut-off switch while the engine is used to propel the boat 
without attaching the lanyard to the operator, the operator's 
clothing, or, if the operator is wearing a personal flotation 
device, to the device as appropriate for the specific vessel'').
    \8\ LAC 76:XI.111.C (2009) (``No person shall operate a Class A 
or Class One motorboat with a hand tiller outboard motor in excess 
of ten horsepower designed to have or having an engine cut-off 
switch, while the engine is running and the motorboat is underway, 
unless the engine cut-off switch is fully functional and in operable 
condition; and the engine cut-off switch link is attached to the 
operator, the operator's clothing, or if worn, the operator's 
personal flotation device'').
    \9\ 625 ILSC 45/4-11 (2009) (``No person may operate any motor 
boat, including personal watercraft or specialty prop-craft, which 
is equipped with a lanyard type engine cut-off switch unless such 
lanyard is properly attached to his or her person, clothing or worn 
PFD, as appropriate for the specific vessel.'')
    \10\ N.R.S. 488.585.1 (2009) (``A person who owns or controls a 
motorboat that is equipped with an engine cut-off switch shall not 
operate or authorize another person to operate the motorboat at a 
rate of speed greater than 5 nautical miles per hour if the engine 
cut-off switch or engine cut-off switch link is missing, 
disconnected or not operating properly'').
    \11\ See National Association of State Boating Law 
Administrators Reference Guide to State Boating Laws available at 
http://www.nasbla.net/referenceguide/index.php?queryID=4.8. Some 
States require use of a cut-off device if the device is present. See 
e.g., Arizona Revised Statues Sec.  5-350.B (``A person who operates 
a personal watercraft that is equipped by the manufacturer with a 
lanyard type engine cut-off switch shall attach the lanyard to his 
body, clothing or personal flotation device as appropriate for the 
specific watercraft''). Others States require personal watercraft to 
have either a cut-off device or self-circling device. See e.g., 23 
Delaware Code Sec.  2212(d) (``No person shall operate a personal 
watercraft unless the personal watercraft is equipped with a self-
circling device or a lanyard-type engine cut-off switch * * *).
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    Pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 4306, Federal regulations establishing 
minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated 
equipment and establishing procedures and tests required to measure 
conformance with those standards preempt State law, unless the State 
law is identical to a Federal regulation or a State is specifically 
provided an exemption to those regulations or permitted to regulate 
marine safety articles carried or used to address a hazardous condition 
or circumstance unique to that State. Because of this express 
preemption, States may not establish, continue in effect, or enforce 
any law or regulation addressing engine cut-off switch requirements 
that is not identical to any final rule resulting from this rulemaking. 
The Coast Guard seeks comments, specifically from States, regarding 
this proposal's preemption of State laws.

V. Information Requested

    The Coast Guard requests comments on engine cut-off switch devices 
and other information that would assist us with this proposal. We have 
provided the following list of specific questions to guide commenters 
in providing input that will assist us with developing this proposal. 
Please support your input with quantitative data where possible and 
include sources and complete citations for any quantitative data.
    1. Recreational boating accidents can cause a variety of negative 
impacts, including loss of life, injuries, and property damage. As 
described above and based on the report ``Casualties Preventable by Use 
of an Engine Cut-off Switch,'' a causal factor in recreational vessel 
and propeller strike-related casualties is the recreational vessel 
operator being separated from the helm because of an accidental 
ejection or a fall overboard. Data from this report suggests that the 
use of an engine cut-off switch would reduce the risk of boating 
casualties caused by persons being struck by a recreational vessel or 
propeller when the operator is separated from the helm. In addition to 
this information, are there other sources of data or information 
detailing benefits or avoided damages which may result from the use of 
engine cut-off switches?
    2. What vessel types should be considered for mandatory engine cut-
off switch requirements (e.g., all motor vessels, motor vessels with 
hand-tiller motors, PWCs, houseboats)?
    3. What vessel lengths should not be considered for mandatory 
engine cut-off switch requirements (e.g., motor vessels greater than 26 
feet in length)?
    4. What engine power (``horse- power '') measures should be 
considered for mandatory engine cut-off switch requirements (e.g., 
engines greater than 3 horsepower)?
    5. What other engine or vessel features should the Coast Guard 
consider to determine the boating population that should be covered by 
engine cut-off switch requirements?
    6. Based on information provided by the National Marine 
Manufacturers Association (NMMA), manufacturers have been routinely 
installing engine cut-off switches on engines or their associated 
starting controls.\12\ What data exists to estimate the percentage of 
recreational vessels and engines that have engine cut-off switches 
provided as standard equipment?
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    \12\ According to National Marine Manufacturers Association 
(NMMA), ``for more than ten years, many of the motorboats on the 
market have been equipped with engine cut-off switches''. (Press 
release, April 10, 2006: http://www.nmma.org/news/news.asp?id=12346&sid=43)
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    7. How many and what types of recreational vessels or engines do 
not have engine cut-off switches provided as standard equipment (e.g., 
boats constructed by owner)?
    8. According to a report by the Outdoor Foundation in partnership 
with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, one measure of 
the number of outings or trips for non-commercial recreational vessels 
is 15 per year for powerboat users.\13\ Are there any additional 
sources documenting the number of trips for recreational vessels or 
recreational vessel use rates by vessel types?
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    \13\ The Outdoor Foundation in partnership with the Recreational 
Boating and Fishing Foundation, ``A Special Report on Fishing and 
Boating'', 2009, page 36 (see http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.fishing.html).
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    9. Similarly, are there any sources documenting the average number 
of trips commercial operators of recreational vessels make in a year?
    10. What is the average number of times an engine cut-off switch 
lanyard or device would be attached and detached in a trip by the 
vessel operator?
    11. What is the average amount of time it would take for a vessel 
operator to attach or detach the lanyard?
    12. How would operators and passengers be impacted by the number of 
times an engine cut-off switch is attached and detached by the vessel 
operator? How should the Coast Guard consider the potential ``hassle 
factor'' associated with using an engine cut-off switch?
    13. If a vessel or engine currently does not have an engine cut-off 
switch installed, what are the installation costs, separated out into 
parts and labor categories?
    14. What is the average lifespan of an engine cut-off switch?
    15. What are the associated maintenance and replacement costs of 
engine cut-off switch devices?
    16. What is the recommended lanyard replacement schedule? How often 
are lanyards replaced? What is the average cost of the lanyard 
replacement? When operating a recreational vessel equipped with an 
engine cut-off switch, does the operator purchase and maintain a spare 
lanyard?
    17. How many boaters use wireless engine cut-off switch devices? 
What percentage of total cut-off switch use

[[Page 33166]]

does this represent? What percentage of these wireless devices are 
standard (original) equipment on vessels and engines? What are the 
installation and maintenance costs (labor and equipment) of wireless 
devices? What is the expected lifespan of wireless devices? Are there 
any special performance or failure issues unique to wireless devices?
    18. How would this proposal change boater preference for wireless 
engine cut-off switch devices? Would boaters choose more expensive 
wireless systems over standard non-wireless systems? If so, why and how 
many?
    19. As a result of this proposal, would vessel and engine 
manufacturers adopt wireless technology as standard equipment?
    20. Would this proposal increase the use and wear of engine cut-off 
switch devices over and above the manufacturer's recommended use? Would 
this proposal increase the replacement costs of engine cut-off switch 
devices?
    21. What is the risk of unintended activations of engine cut-off 
switch devices? What is the current estimated rate of unintended 
activations? What are the impacts of unintended activations? Are there 
any injuries or fatalities associated with unintended activations?
    22. What is the risk of engine cut-off switch device failure (i.e., 
engine does not cut off when operator is ejected)? What is the current 
estimated rate of engine cut-off switch device failures? What are the 
impacts of engine cut-off switch device failures? Are there any 
injuries or fatalities associated with engine cut-off switch device 
failures?
    23. What data or information exists that could be used to estimate 
compliance rates of this proposal? What data exists to estimate how 
compliance with proposal will change from initial phase-in to full 
implementation?
    24. How would the challenge to visually inspect from a distance 
whether an engine cut-off switch device is being used affect compliance 
with engine cut-off switch device requirements?
    25. What are the compliance rates with State laws that require use 
of engine cut-off switch devices?
    26. What is the voluntary use rate of engine cut-off switch devices 
in States without engine cut-off switch device laws?
    27. Five States (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, and 
Nevada) currently require boaters to use engine cut-off devices on 
certain recreational vessels. What other State laws are being developed 
for engine cut-off switch device regulations? Please provide any data 
or information from the implementation or development of these State 
regulations to assist the Coast Guard as it considers whether to 
require engine cut-off switch device use.
    28. What are the costs associated with implementation of State laws 
requiring mandatory use of engine cut-off switch devices?
    29. What is the effectiveness based on the reduction in fatalities, 
injuries, and property damage from recent changes in State laws 
regarding the use of engine cut-off switch devices?

    Dated: June 2, 2011.
Kevin S. Cook,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy.
[FR Doc. 2011-14140 Filed 6-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P