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NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

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Old 02-09-2007, 10:41 AM
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Default NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Friday, February 9, 2007 Boating speed limit issue returns
By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.


While one controversial petition to establish a boating speed limit on Lake Winnipesaukee remains in limbo, speed limit supporters are optimistic that a new bill that would restrict speeds on all state lakes will pass in the Legislature this year.

Supporters of a 45 mph daytime and 25 mph nighttime speed limit for boats say their first attempt failed by only a handful of votes in the Senate, and are hopeful that a November shakeup in the Legislature gives new hope to a second bill.

"We passed in the House last year (and it's) a much more friendly atmosphere this year, and we have ten sponsors," said Rep. Jim Pilliod, R-Belmont, of a new boating speed limit bill that he said is currently under legislative review.

A proposal to set speed restriction on state waters known as House Bill 162 passed the House of Representatives last year by a vote of 193 to 139, but was later killed in the Senate when it fell four votes short of a majority in what was one of the most hotly contested issues of the 2006 legislative session.

The move resulted in a group of speed limit supporters submitting a petition specific to Lake Winnipesaukee to the Department of Safety, which held a public hearing and compiled a 70-plus page report for consideration by Safety Commissioner Richard Flynn.

While the consideration is apparently completed, Curtis Duclos, the hearings bureau chief for the safety department, has said Flynn has no time limit set for the petition, leaving supporters and opponents with little knowledge of what will become of it.

The petition's status became even more cloudy with Gov. John Lynch's recent announced that he intends to replace Flynn after 35 years of service with the Department of Safety.

Jared Teutsch, the president of the N.H. Lakes Association (which has been supporting boating speed limits), said the news regarding Lynch's decision not to reappoint Flynn leaves the status of the petition in question.

But he said Flynn's expected departure is somewhat of a moot point given the proposed new legislation that again asks for a 45/25 speed limit on all state lakes.

"This will delay the petition I'm sure, but with the bill on a statewide speed limit being proposed it was unlikely that (the Department of Safety) would make a decision. They are always going to defer to the legislation (and) we will be pushing for the legislation at this point," said Teutsch.

Sandy Helve, a leader behind the pro-speed limit Winnipesaukee Family Alliance for Boating Safety, or WinnFABS, said the new boating speed limit proposal is nearly identical to the first with the exception that it calls for boating speed limits on all state lakes rather than using the term "state waters," which she said confused the issue.

Helve said supporters of speed limits knew they couldn't wait for a decision on last year's petition. "Our attention is on the (new) bill," she said, which she said already has significant support in both the House and Senate.

The WinnFABS founder said the new bill is sponsored by five members of the House and five members of the Senate, which was confirmed by Pilliod.

It's sponsored in the House by representatives Jim Pilliod, R-Belmont, Alida Millham, R-Gilford, Sid Lovett, D-Holderness, Betsey Patten, R-Moultonboro, and Dennis Abbott, an independent from Newmarket.

The Senate sponsors are Peter Burling, D-Cornish, Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, Joseph Kenney, R-Wakefield, Jacalyn Cilley, D-Barrington, and Margaret Hassan, D-Exeter.

Pilliod, the prime sponsor of last year's bill and the new proposal, said the new-look Senate is "absolutely" more likely to look favorably on a bill that he called critical to safety and tourism in the Granite State.

In the 2006 Senate vote, all the Democrats voting against killing the bill, but they were outnumbered by those who voted it as "inexpedient to legislate." Four of the Republican who voted against the speed limit bill last year have been replaced by Democrats, however.

Cilley, one of the freshmen Democrats in the Senate, voted in favor of the speed limit bill last year while serving in the House.

Freshman Sen. Kathy Sgambati, D-Tilton, said she hopes a boating speed limit will pass, but anticipates that it will again be a contentious issue that will require much input from both sides.

"I think people are still weighing in on it and (the legislators) are still listening to those on both sides. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion. I have gone on record in supporting it, but I think there will be questions about if there are alternatives that can accommodate both interests," said Sgambati.

Sen. Deborah Reynolds, D-Plymouth, another first-term legislator who defeated her Republican opponent in November, said she also supports the speed limit and noted that she testified in favor of the petitioned request at a September hearing in Meredith.

However, she noted that the issue is a controversial one that requires considerable review.

"I think that it's really important in the Lakes Region for us to hear from all sides," said Reynolds.

Reynolds said there are many people in her district who are for the speed limit, but added that she is aware of many who oppose such a restriction.

When asked why he introduced the new bill, Pilliod replied, "I think it's needed ... there is no question about that."

Pilliod said he is confident that there will again see strong opposition from certain segments with "financial interests" in boating, but he said the issue is about safety, and not business interests.

"We never said they couldn't have the boats on the lake," said Pilliod.

Helve said the true support for a speed limit bill won't be known until the votes are cast, but she her group will again be looking to educate legislators about how high-speed boating is impacting safety, tourism and quality of life in New Hampshire.

"Nothing is ever clear until the votes are taken, but we are working with the current Legislature, both the House and Senate," said Helve, adding that during last year's effort, the group invited lawmakers to experience the conditions on the lakes for themselves.

Helve said the failure of some legislators to support last year's speed limit proposal played a part in them not being re-elected.

"This is certainly an important state issue. We have to protect our children and their family, but it isn't just about safety it's quality of life," said Helve.



Geoff Cunningham Jr. can be reached at 524-3800 ext. 5931 or via e-mail at gcunninghamcitizen.com.
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Old 02-09-2007, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Man they just won't give up with the lies will they. I mean call a spade a spade but DONT like!! This is about loud boats. If our boats went across the lake quitely then this would not be a issue. There had not been an accident that I am aware of that this law would have prevented. This is not about safty it is about noise. People suck and what worries me is that as the property values keep climbing out of control the jag offs at lake Winni are moving to Sabego and wielding thier will on that lake as well.....

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Old 02-09-2007, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Sounds like a typical political game of manipulation. If at first you don't succeed, wait until a new cabinet is elected and try again. And if that doesn't work, hide it in some mammoth bill and sneak it through.

Just remember:

Excessive speed is cause for only about 11.1% of all accidents, and only about 8.1% of deaths. A small number if you ask me.

http://www.uscgboating.org/statistic...stics_2005.pdf
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Cig the problem is that Excessive speed can be listed as 10mph in a no wake zone or manuvering around a dock to fast. Has nothing to do with actuall speed......
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Oh, I totally agree, Audio. It could be anything. In fact the CG defines it as:
"Operating at a speed, possibly below the posted limit, above that which a reasonable and prudent person would operate under the circumstances."

I'm just hoping to provide some ammo to those of you guys trying to fight this.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

"We never said they couldn't have the boats on the lake," said Pilliod."

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Old 02-09-2007, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: NH Speed Limit debate rears its ugly head - again...

Yeah, just my luck - I buy a new boat (that is capable over over 45) and before I even get it delivered from the dealer I need to read this (again)! WTF!?!

Thanks for the info Nick, it's all useable at this point!
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Old 02-09-2007, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
Friday, February 9, 2007 Boating speed limit issue returns
By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.


We have to protect our children and their family, but it isn't just about safety it's quality of life," said Helve.

Playing the "children" card again BULLCHIT ..It's the old farts that are against it.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:00 PM
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SOMEBODY BETTER START EMAILING THE FACTS ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!!

We're fighting the same asswipes in VA. These bastards are the some guys who faught for our freedom and now they think they control it. Maybe you can strike a deal with them...suggest supporting a noise bill and have muffs installed if they agree to kill the speed idea for ever? It will cost you to install muffs but at least you keep boating free.

If that doesn't work, play hard ball. Give them something to really biotch about!

BTW: Any legislative that passes a speed bill when FACTS & DATA shows that speed is NOT a contributing factor...are on their own agenda. If the opposition is lobbing these reps, they are either providing financial support OR voting support. Find who is the rep supporting the bill and then find that persons competitor and get them on your side.

THE FACTS SHOW THAT SPEED IS NOT A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN ACCIDENTS &/OR DEATHS. MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!!! It's your best defense.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DoTheMath View Post
Friday, February 9, 2007 Boating speed limit issue returns
By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.

Supporters of a 45 mph daytime and 25 mph nighttime speed limit for boats say their first attempt failed by only a handful of votes in the Senate, and are hopeful that a November shakeup in the Legislature gives new hope to a second bill.

"We passed in the House last year (and it's) a much more friendly atmosphere this year, and we have ten sponsors," said Rep. Jim Pilliod, R-Belmont, of a new boating speed limit bill that he said is currently under legislative review.
This guy is a Republican? He ought to be removed from the party. We all know the Democrats hate anything with an engine. They're afraid of them., so the wussy speed limits fit right in.

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