Bill Filed to Modify and Enhance Speed Limits in NH
Safe Boaters of New Hampshire
“To promote safety through education and legislation that works”
Safe Boaters of New Hampshire proposes an enhanced modification of Lake Winnipesaukee’s speed law to include the entire state.
For Immediate Release:
After two years of the current speed law on Lake Winnipesaukee, Safe Boaters of New Hampshire has looked at the statistics, as the law originally passed mandated, and has seen that, as predicted by the Marine Patrol, the mandated speed limits on Lake Winnipesaukee have made no difference.
The NH Marine Patrol handed out 20 speeding tickets during what everyone called the best boating season on Lake Winnipesaukee in years. That number of tickets is consistent with the Marine Patrol’s 2007 report showing less than 1 percent of boats using Lake Winnipesaukee exceed 45 miles an hour (the current speed limit) and none were clocked by radar going faster than 62.
In light of those findings Safe Boaters of New Hampshire has asked Senator Lou D’Allesandro (D) District 20, Goffstown and Manchester to file legislation that would enhance and modify the current law regarding speed on Lake Winnipesaukee with a focus on safety, not numbers. Along with Senator D’Allesandro the bill has received large bipartisan support with Senator Boutin and Senator elect Sanborn co-sponsoring from the Senate and over a dozen Represenatives from the House pledging support.
Among the enhancements to the law is an escalating fine structure, allowing a violator to pay a fine rather than the more expensive option forcing a Marine Patrol officer to be tied up in court. It also establishes a way to permanently ban habitual offenders from New Hampshire waterways.
The modification also provides for the enhanced ability of the Marine Patrol to get reckless and dangerous boaters off the water by more closely following existing US Coast Guard regulations regarding speed on the water. Currently a Marine Patrol officer has to rely on radar or following a boat during a chase to determine whether the vessel is exceeding the “posted” speed limit. The modification eliminates those requirements and allows the Marine Patrol officer to use his/her training to determine if a boat operator is traveling too fast for the prevailing conditions without regard to actual miles per hour.
Safe Boaters of New Hampshire believes that these enhancements and modifications will bring Lake Winnipesauke and the rest of New Hampshire’s lakes, ponds and rivers more into line with the rules enforced by the US Coast Guard along New Hampshire’s coastal waters and in most of the rest of the country thereby reducing confusion among boaters, allowing the Marine Patrol to identify and remove dangerous boaters from the lake, and make the waters of New Hampshire even safer.
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