Suffolk County's new law to require a safety course for all who drive a motorboat is long overdue ["Call for NY action," News, Oct. 12].

We wouldn't allow a person who hasn't passed a driver's test to drive a car. Why should someone who has not taken a boating safety class be permitted to operate a powerful boat that has no brakes and steers from the rear?

I have been boating for many years and consider myself a safe boater. I've taken every class from the United States Power Squadrons to improve my competency on the water. I'd like to know that other boaters have, at least, some safety education.

Peter TenBrink, Syosset

Editor's note: The writer is a past commander of District 3 of the United States Power Squadrons, a nonprofit educational organization.

Instead of requiring boaters to take a safety course, why not offer a 10 percent reduction in boat insurance for course completion?

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A similar benefit is available to automobile drivers. Don't underestimate the power of the dollar.

John R. Saxe, Islip