Municipalities can prohibit watercraft

Watercraft Scooter, OutdoorsWatercraft. Photo: Norsk Friluftsliv

The Government confirms that municipalities can prohibit watercraft locally

Press Release (Norsk Friluftsliv): In several media, representatives of watercraft importers claim that the municipalities can not ban watercraft in their areas. It is not correct. “The Coastal Administration, the Ministry of Transport and the Environment and the Ministry of Environment and Environment are clear that municipalities that have good reasons to ban watercraft driving have the full opportunity to do this,” says Siri Meland, head of social contacts in Norwegian Outdoor Life.


Can be regulated separately

On its web sites, both the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Environment report that “the use of watercraft can be regulated separately through local regulations in order to take care of safe traffic, sound management of the waters, the environment or outdoor life.”

In the wake of the Government’s change in watercraft regulations, Norsk Friluftsliv (Norwegian Outdoor Life) recently sent a letter to Norwegian municipalities with information about the legislation that can be used to ban or restrict watercraft use.

The regulations provide the municipalities with the possibility of banning watercraft driving in their own maritime area, with the exception of waterways. They may also prohibit the use of watercraft in lakes and rivers. This is in line with the Government’s desire for municipal autonomy.

Confusing statements from Watercraft importers

This week there have been several media reports in which the watercraft importers, with backing from attorney Arve Lønnum, has come up with information that creates uncertainty in the municipalities about what they can and can not regulate.

– This misinformation is very unfortunate, says Siri Meland in Norwegian Outdoor Life.

Fears more accidents

Norwegian Outdoor Life, an umbrella organization for 16 Norwegian outdoor life organizations, has previously pointed out that the recent changes in the watercraft regulations will pose a major threat to bathers, kayak users  and vulnerable seabirds.

The change means that watercraft can now drive at high speed closer to land, which will lead to dangerous situations, the umbrella organization believes.


© Norsk Friluftliv / Norway Today