This letter went out to the mailing list at www.njoffshore.com and www.njppc.com.
I am writing to you because I thought you would want to know of an impending law that may affect the way you use your boat next summer on NJ waterways.
I am bringing this to your attention because the NJ State government is once again trying to protect us from ourselves by means of instituting a statewide speed limit of 30 MPH on all tidal waters within NJ territories. Tidal waters are waters that ebb and flow from the ocean. Basically all saltwater bodies of waters are considered tidal waters, except the ocean itself. If this new law were passed, the speed limit would go into effect next April 1st and would be in effect from Friday at sundown until Monday at sunrise.
There is a hearing on this matter during the first week of November and many people I have talked to want to help in some way. In order to help, you need to make your voice heard loud and clear by taking the time to write a letter. An Attorney has been retained to speak on behalf of performance boaters and he is asking for your assistance by composing a letter that explains your view on the new law. All sectors of the marine industry will be represented at the hearing. Local marinas, performance boat centers, gas retailers, boat manufacturers and boating clubs will all be well represented at this meeting so your presence is not needed but your voice is. Your voice is what the Attorney needs to bolster his case. We know that sailboaters will be writing letters to support the law; we need to counter their voice.
Here is what to do. Please send a letter to me at [email protected]. Your letter will be presented to the local press and the committee of five people who will ultimately make this decision that will affect you for the rest of your life.
The attorney feels that we should not argue that 30 MPH is too slow but 60 MPHis OK. That is a losing battle because the committee may then decide that 40 MPH is fast enough. We donít want to argue what speed is the right speed; we want to suggest that if the committee is truly attempting to make boating safer, then they should sponsor legislation that would mandate a boating license course and test. Currently a boat license is needed on fresh water lakes. However, anyone over 13 years old can get one by paying an extra $2 when a car driverís license is renewed. We are suggesting a classroom style course similar to the current Power Squadron or Coast Guard course. This is something that should have been done a long time ago. They have done it for Jet Skiís, why not boats?
Please write a letter that contains the following items:
Your address. Ė You must be a NJ resident.
Relationship to boating. Ė What it means to you and your family.
Why you oppose a speed limit.
Effect a speed limit would have on you.
Alternative recommendation, such as education or licensing.
Items you might want to touch on in your letter:
Boating is currently safe.
How accurate is your speedometer? Do you have one at all?
Boating at 30 is unsafe Ė low visibility, huge wake, engine strain, and poor fuel consumption.
This may cause fewer boats to be sold. Ė Do we really want to do anything that would have a negative effect on our economy now?
Loss of gas tax dollars to the State.
State could make money from licensing.
Low probability of enforcement. Ė Marine Police currently donít have radar guns nor the manpower to enforce this law.
Please pass this email along to everyone you know who is a NJ boater or who may become one in the future. Now is the time to be heard as later may be too late.
Letters are due by Friday, November 1st, 2002. If you send me a letter, then Iíll keep you informed as things progress because I know you care about the outcome.
As I have taken the time to write to you, please take the time to make your voice heard. Please donít count on the ďother guyĒ to take care of this for you. You are the other guy this time so please sit down and write a letter if you feel that the proposed speed limit may affect you. Please do so in a very respectful manner.
See ya at the races,