Missouri lawmakers pass bill to reduce boating fines

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill to reduce fines for watercraft speeding in no-wake zones and life-jacket violations to $25.

House lawmakers voted 133-3 in favor of the measure Tuesday. The Senate passed it 31-2 Monday.

Currently, those violations can lead to $137 fines. But Republican sponsor Rep. Robert Ross said Tuesday that law enforcement rarely issues fines because they’re so high.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, 28 citations and more than 400 warnings were issued for speeding in no-wake zones. The agency says there were 24 citations and more than 1,800 warnings for life-vest violations.

The measure also would exempt some watercraft from guardrail requirements. Gov. Eric Greitens vetoed a similar bill last year, but Ross says it’s now limited to streams and rivers and not lakes.