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18 to ride a motorbike, 12 to drive a jet ski

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray

Friday 25 Jan 2013

18 to ride a motorbike, 12 to drive a jet ski

When riding on the ocean, jet skiers must slow to 5 knots when 200 metres from the shore, but on rivers, they only have to slow down when 50 metres from the bank. The margin for error on rivers, creeks and other inland waterways is much narrower, and there are many more swimmers and children potentially involved in a disaster.

Federal Member for Murray Dr Sharman Stone says she has written to the Victorian Minister for Ports Denis Napthine to ask him to reconsider raising the minimum age for jet ski riders, and also, changing the inland water slow down distances to reflect the ocean related regulations.

“Jet skis have become too big and powerful to have kids as skippers” Dr Stone said.

“In Victoria, you have to be 18 to apply for a licence or learner’s permit to ride a motorbike. To ride a jet ski, you can be as young as 12. Like the open road, there are hazards on the water that children should not be dealing with and potential injury to others.

“We have a raging debate at the moment about putting a minimum age limit of 16 on quad bike riders, but these cannot be ridden on the open road” Dr Stone said. “Quad bikes can be dangerous, but children don’t come across other traffic on farms. Children on jet skis do.

“In Queensland and South Australia, jet ski riders must be 16, while in Western Australia, 14 year olds can drive alone during daylight hours and at less than 8 knots (14.8 km/h).

“12 is too young” Sharman Stone said.

Media enquiries, Graham Munson: 0417 148 110.