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ALERT !!! Speed Limits on NJ's Waterways

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Old 08-15-2008, 09:30 AM
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Time View Post
Do you need a boating certificate/license to operate a vessel in NJ?
Yes
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:52 PM
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Latest story from the Press of Atlantic City:

Boaters find a lot wrong with proposed speed limit

(Published: Friday, August 15, 2008)
Local boaters are taking issue with legislation that is being drafted by a state lawmaker who wants them to slow down in Barnegat Bay and inland waterways.

A speed limit on the water is only as effective as its enforcement, and State Marine Police manpower is a problem, officials said.

Roger K. Brown, chairman of the state Boat Regulation Commission, said he would not have a problem with state Sen. Paul Sarlo's proposed legislation that would restrict nighttime boaters to speeds as low as 10 mph in inland waterways and Barnegat Bay.

"You lose visibility at nighttime, and we need slow speed at night," Brown said.

There are no speed limits on those waterways now, except for buoys marked "no wake" and "slow speed."

Sarlo's legislation comes after a boating accident Aug. 3 on the Metedeconk River that killed one man and injured four others.

"You better believe you'll need an increased police presence with a speed limit," Brown said. "You don't see them out there. I've lived here for 40 years, and I've seen problems over the years, but we have a problem now and it is manpower."

Brown said every Saturday during the summer the Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association has a course in local waterways. But State Marine Police are nowhere in the area.

"Generally you'll see one little patrol go through. Years ago they placed patrols above and below our course, but now they don't have the manpower," said Brown.

State Police Sgt. Valentino Borrelli said that reduced manpower within the Marine Bureau is an issue with patrols in the waterways.

Russ Cohen, boater and owner of Boatboy Marine Training, in Moorestown, Burlington County, trains boaters in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. Imposing a speed limit on the water will not solve the problem, he said.

"It's an absolutely terrible thing. But what if all of sudden accidents increased on the (New Jersey) Turnpike and they said you can only do 30 miles per hour? Would you be happy with that?" Cohen asked.

According to Cohen, imposing a speed limit could cause problems for boaters with smaller vessels. Most boaters on vessels 25 feet or shorter would not be able to tell how fast they are going because the boats do not have speedometers, he said.

"It's foolish," Cohen said of Sarlo's proposed legislation.

Also, 90 percent of boat speedometers on all size vessels do not even register a speed until it reaches 20 mph, he said.

Most boats that go 10 mph leave a foot to a foot-and-a-half wake in their path, according to Cohen, still a pretty big wake for a no-wake section of the water, he said.

"Boats are made to do 10 to 100 mph. I've seen people killed at 10 miles per hour and 100 miles per hour. There are already laws in place," Cohen said.

Cohen said all of those laws were broken when Robert Post, 49, of Essex Fells, was killed on the Metedeconk River when the boat he was on was hit by another vessel.

"He shouldn't have been speeding at night, and he should have had several lookouts," Cohen said of whoever was driving the boat that hit Post. "But when I see the Legislature jump into action here, it's ridiculous."

A 27-foot Imperial speed boat belonging to Anthony Digilio, 29, of Brick Township, is now a focus of the investigation into that collision. The State Police Marine Bureau is still investigating the crash, and no one has been charged, Borrelli said.

Dave Patnaude, president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Club, said he is not too happy about everyone's rush to judgment.

"It's an injustice when everyone jumps up with a pitchfork when we have no idea what happened with that accident," Patnaude said.

Patnaude cited U.S. Coast Guard statistics that 12 percent of boating accidents are due to excessive speed.

"So there are 88 percent of other reasons for accidents," Patnaude said. "Sarlo talked about floating cocktail parties and unskilled boaters. Why don't we focus on police presence to get that under control so we don't have to have a 10 mph speed limit?"

Patnaude has written to Sarlo about his proposed legislation. In the letter, Patnaude writes that the real root of the problem is lack of enforcement of laws that already exist. "Due to the budget crisis that the state is in, manpower hours have been greatly reduced in the ranks of the State Police on the water," he wrote.

John Schwartz, chairman of the Tuckerton Borough Waterways Commission, agreed.

"Rules are only as good as enforcement. The rules are already there, but the problem is we have too many boaters with too few law enforcement," said Schwartz.

Schwartz lives on a lagoon in Tuckerton along with 50 other homes with over 2,500 feet of waterways. No one speeds in that lagoon, Schwartz said.

The speeding problem is in Tuckerton Creek where the speed limit today is a no-wake zone, according to Schwartz.

"Just this last weekend we had a sport boat that went full throttle up and down the creek three times. It was so bad people were actually throwing rocks at him. That's why accidents happen like the one in the Metedeconk River."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

E-mail Donna Weaver:

[email protected]

Boating accidents

In the United States last year, 5,191 reported boating accidents resulted in 685 fatalities, 3,673 injuries and $53,106,496 in property damage. These are the top 10 contributing factors in U.S. boating accidents:

1. Operator inattention

2. Careless/reckless operation

3. Passenger/skier behavior

4. Excessive speed

5. Alcohol use

6. No proper lookout

7. Operator inexperience

8. Machinery failure

9. Weather

10. Equipment failure

The number of boating-accident deaths dropped from 710 to 685 from 2006 to 2007. However, other casualty figures increased: Accidents rose from 4,967 to 5,191, injuries rose from 3474 to 3673, and damages rose from $43,670,424 to $53,106,496.

The most common vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, 44 percent; personal watercraft; 24 percent; and cabin motorboats; 15 percent.

The number of deaths associated with the use of canoes and kayaks increased to 107 in 2007, compared with 99 in 2006.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 21 percent of the deaths.

Sixteen children age 12 and younger died while boating in 2007, compared with 29 children in 2006 and 21 children in 2005. Eight of the children who died in 2007 died from drowning.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:31 PM
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What is Sarlo's proposal for commercial vessels? There are many on NJ waters.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:51 PM
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[QUOTE=DaveP;2654630]Latest story from the Press of Atlantic City:

John Schwartz, chairman of the Tuckerton Borough Waterways Commission, agreed.

"Rules are only as good as enforcement. The rules are already there, but the problem is we have too many boaters with too few law enforcement," said Schwartz.

Schwartz lives on a lagoon in Tuckerton along with 50 other homes with over 2,500 feet of waterways. No one speeds in that lagoon, Schwartz said.

The speeding problem is in Tuckerton Creek where the speed limit today is a no-wake zone, according to Schwartz.

"Just this last weekend we had a sport boat that went full throttle up and down the creek three times.



This only proves our point.If existing laws are not obeyed why does anyone think those who disobey them will obey the new ones
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:02 AM
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[QUOTE=Expensive Date;2654690]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
Latest story from the Press of Atlantic City:

John Schwartz, chairman of the Tuckerton Borough Waterways Commission, agreed.

"Rules are only as good as enforcement. The rules are already there, but the problem is we have too many boaters with too few law enforcement," said Schwartz.

Schwartz lives on a lagoon in Tuckerton along with 50 other homes with over 2,500 feet of waterways. No one speeds in that lagoon, Schwartz said.

The speeding problem is in Tuckerton Creek where the speed limit today is a no-wake zone, according to Schwartz.

"Just this last weekend we had a sport boat that went full throttle up and down the creek three times.



This only proves our point.If existing laws are not obeyed why does anyone think those who disobey them will obey the new ones

LAWS LAWS LAWS!!! WE NEED MORE LAWS!

When will these people wake up and just hold individuals responsible and stop punishing the masses. A sad situation but there are laws in place right now for just about anything you can think of and no one to enforce them.

Last edited by GoFastSonic; 08-16-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:42 AM
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[QUOTE=GoFastSonic;2654911]
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Originally Posted by Expensive Date View Post


LAWS LAWS LAWS!!! WE NEED MORE LAWS!

When will these people wake up and just hold individuals responsible and stop punishing the masses. A sad situation but there are laws in place right now for just about anything you can think of and no one to inforce them.
That's the irony of it. People calling for a speed limit even in areas that are marked No Wake Zone. If you look beyond what they sate in these speed limit discussions, you'll see that the speed limit isn't their primary intent.

Just as on another lake that recently had a SL law passed, their intent is to have the GF boats leave. They can't put it that way of course, because no law would be passed on that basis. So, they lie.
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:45 AM
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In NJ Laws are in place "Speed Limits" will just ad another law that moron boaters will not pay attention to. The only boaters that will get effected by a speed limit law would be us, Performance Boaters because we stand out and run louder then a normal boat. Below is the NJ law taken out of the State Police operating Manual.
__________________________________________________ _
Rule 5, LOOKOUT
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out
by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate
in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so
as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of
collision.
Rule 6, SAFE SPEED
Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that
it can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and
be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing
circumstances and conditions.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:42 AM
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Thanks to Dave,Frank and Tim
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:35 AM
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I just found this this morning on another site:

Quote:
Originally Posted by berdes View Post
Read this morning that sarno's office is promoting a petition drive FOR the limit!!!Lets all get our own letters out there. How about a caravan to Margate next month for the hearings??


Just sent this to all-
Dear ________________
This very old proposal for speed limits on the Barnegat Bay should not have been resurrected as it has.
The FACTS speak for themselves:
1) We can not enforce the laws we already have.
2) Only seven percent of boating fatalities relate to speed.
3) Only twelve percent of all boating accidents relate to speed.
4) The state police have stated that measuring speed on water is at best very difficult.
5) The thirty MPH limit is the "wake zone" for many larger boats, where the most damage is done to the ecology.
There are many more reasons to oppose this legislation if you take the time to research it.
Thank you for listening,

If the powerboaters of NJ don't do something soon, rest assured there will be a limit on how fast you can go on the waterways of NJ.
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