'Andy's Law' Passes House; Would Require Boat Carbon Monoxide Stickers
OKLAHOMA CITY – The House on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would require carbon monoxide poisoning warning stickers on motorized boats that operate in Oklahoma waters. Rep. Dean Davis, R-Broken Arrow, named House Bill 2010 "Andy's Law" after Andrew Free, who died in 2020 of open-air carbon monoxide poisoning after a day spent wakeboarding with his family at Lake Eufaula. The nine-year-old is the son of Brett and Cassi Free of Broken Arrow. Cassi Free, a former teaching colleague of Davis, brought the need for the legislation to his attention after the death of her son. She was in the House gallery on Wednesday to witness the bill's passage. "Andy's death was shocking and heartbreaking not only to his family but also to our entire community," Davis said. "No parent should have to go through what my friends have endured. "While this is a bill I would certainly rather there never be a need for, I'm grateful to Andy's parents for bringing this to our attention. This gave us the opportunity to turn this horrible tragedy into some great legislation that will protect health and save lives. It is necessary that we be proactive in warning others of this invisible danger." According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gasoline-powered engines on boats, including onboard generators, produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can poison or kill someone who breathes too much of it. CO can build up near swim decks or water platforms and in the air spaces inside a boat. The CDC says Every year, at least 420 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. More than 100,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning. HB2010 would amend state statute to require certain boats and other water vessels to have a carbon monoxide warning sticker affixed in plain view to the interior of the vessel. The sticker and related literature would be developed by the Department of Public Safety and distributed by Service Oklahoma through annual boat registration or when a title is transferred. The bill now moves to the state Senate where it is authored by Sen. Chuck Hall, R-Perry.