Scottish Conservatives have welcomed proposed new UK legislation which will clamp down on the dangerous use of jet skis in places like the River Tay in Perth.
Murdo Fraser MSP and Councillor Chris Ahern both feel the new rules, once they come into effect, should allay local residents’ concerns over disturbance caused by some jet ski users in the likes of the River Tay in Perth.
The politicians have been contacted by irate constituents in the city over the last few years following the actions of some jet ski users who use the river during the summer months. Both Conservatives had previously called for a zoning system to be introduced in part of the River Tay to clamp down on anti-social behaviour from some jet ski users.
The proposed change in legislation will be applicable in all UK waters so sea, tidal rivers and inland waterways would all be within scope. This would include the River Tay in Perth.
If brought into force, jet ski users could face up to two years in jail through the laws which are aimed to curb aggressive behaviour and noise on the UK’s various water ways.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “We welcome this proposed change in the legislation. We will wait for Westminster to pass it but if it does so, it will address what has been a long-standing problem in Perth and other areas of Tayside.
“A balance has to be struck between jet ski users enjoying themselves and disturbance to local residents. There is a definite need for action and this could well be it.”
And Councillor Ahern, who represents the Perth City Centre ward, added: “I am glad to see the UK Government is taking seriously the issue of jet skis and the problems that a small group of them cause. We must remember that it is a small group that are the problem.
“The jet skiers that use the stretch of water near Perth city centre do cause an issue with noise and anti-social behaviour. The measures that will be put in place by adding jet skiers into the existing legislation will allow local authorities to have some control.”
Notes: The new law would see jet skis and other recreational craft such as speedboats be classified in the same terms as ships, basically making all these users subject to national regulations. People who flout the rules could face two years in prison along with an unlimited fine if prosecuted under the proposed change to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.