A proposal heading to the House would lessen the penalties for boaters in New Mexico who fail to wear a life preserver.
The Senate unanimously endorsed a measure Tuesday to treat the violation of state park rules like a traffic ticket. The penalty would be $30 for a first offense, $50 for a second violation and $150 for three or more violations.
Failure to wear a life preserver currently can be punished by six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Republican Sen. William Sharer of Farmington said the current punishment was too harsh and he objected that people must appear in court to resolve a violation. His proposal would allow people to pay a fine like a traffic ticket or go to court to appeal the case.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.