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Swedish water scooter law toothless

Water scooters above the law: Coast Guard

Published söndag 10 juni 2012 kl 16.49
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/Scanpix

A law preventing water scooters from zipping dangerously close to bathing areas is toothless according to the Coast Guard.

“Before we could be much stricter. They had to keep to certain lanes and not zip in and out of bathing areas,” Ragnhild Bussqvist at the Swedish Coast Guard service told news agency TT.

Sweden introduced a water scooter law in 1993 which restricted the vehicles access to certain areas on environmental grounds – particularly due to the noise they made.

However last year it became clear that the law conflicted with EU rules which say that a court must prove that the scooter is more dangerous to the environment than a boat. Since the scooters are less noisy today and make less waves that proved impossible.

Courts have now stopped taking up cases of complaints and the Coast Guard has stopped pressing charges, except where scooter drivers break the law of the sea by driving recklessly.

A review of the law is currently underway.

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