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NJ Speed Limits

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Old 11-15-2002, 10:42 AM
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Default NJ Speed Limits

For those of you who are familiar with the NJ speed limit proposal I ask that you remain involved and make sure that your voice is heard.
After last weeks BRC meeting, I have had some time to reflect on what was said. We are sure that this proposal has nothing to do with saftey and I am pretty sure that it is truly just a sailboat vs. powerboat display.
On the part of the BRC, there was no supporting evidence that such a problem even exists, that would warrant an imposition of any kind.
In retrospect, it was mentioned that there were complaints, but none of which were formal or pursued legally. At the root of the these complaints was a man whom has spent alot of money on a home in the Metedeconk; A Verizon big wig, who has apparently blown in a politically seated invidividuals ear.
Sadly enough after thought of this, I realized that I am a Verizon customer and probably helped that man buy his home.
Just food for thought!!!!!!!
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Old 11-15-2002, 08:54 PM
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I know him personly , I give a call.

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Old 11-16-2002, 09:34 AM
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Many of us wish that it were that easy, just to make a call. But unfortunately I don't beleive that at this point the man from Verizon is in control. He may have been the snowball that rolled down the hill, but it has certainly picked up momentum. It has gone just a little further than just complaints. As you know it has now traveled to the Task Force that is comprised of Assemblymen who are going to work in conjunction with the BRC. I was present yesterday at the meeting at Rutgers, along with many other individuals. I hope that you make an effort to make your voice heard, since I believe that you would be affected along with the many others.
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:34 AM
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Please let us know when the next meeting is. Mark told me that you had gone to the state house last night - we'd like to know what progressed. If you want a show of force we need to let everyone know what's going on. I do notice that most of this started after the season is over - I guess they are counting on less opposition. Almost nobody knows whats going on up here by me. These limits might appear to be inconveniences to those that own powerboats but it's a real threat to people's livelyhood such as your own. I would think that all performance dealers and shops would be out of business.

If we could get organized about this, I'd be happy to drop buy all the local dealers here and communicate what's going on and it's impact to them. Maybe something as simple as posters or flyers hung in their showrooms for their clients, or contact information for them to add their voices.... Is the NJPPC heading up something along this line?
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Old 11-16-2002, 10:59 AM
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All the help and support than anyone can supply would be great. I recommended it highly to ensure that the speed limit proposal goes no further. And yes, the NJPPC are a very strong voice and Dave has been doing quite a bit of homework for us all. He has been spreading the word and dedicating his time as well to be an active opposing voice. I am glad that people are starting to put more thought into this dilemna. It is a real possibility. No Joke!! Just think of the ramifications. Please keep in touch anf view this and the NJPPC site. The next meeting for this discussion is January 8, 2003 at the State Troopers Facility in Trenton at 10 am. We don't need a lynch mob, but we do need civil people discussing there opposing thoughts. It is somewhat formal as you can imagine, for a politically motivated event.
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:26 PM
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Safety test for state's boaters discussed at panel meeting

Published in the Asbury Park Press 11/16/02By KIRK MOORE

STAFF WRITERCAMDEN -- The possibility of requiring boat operators in New Jersey to pass a safety test -- regardless of their age or boating experience -- emerged as the main theme at a public hearing before an Assembly task force on boating safety.

"There's no reason why mandatory licensing and education should not be required," said David Patnaude, president of the New Jersey Performance Powerboat Association, at yesterday's hearing. A proposal for 30 to 40 mph speed limits on coastal bays is misguided, because it may actually make it harder to safely maneuver high-performance speedboats, Patnaude told the panel of legislators meeting at Rutgers University here.

Since state boating laws were last changed in 1996, safety education has been required for two classes of boat operators: Anyone riding personal watercraft and operators of motor boats who were born after Dec. 31, 1978.That age limit was a compromise with recreational boaters who have traditionally resisted licensing. Assemblyman Jeffrey W. Moran, R-Ocean - an avid boater himself - said that was a mistake by the Legislature."There are days I go out there (on Barnegat Bay) and I turn around and come back," he said.During debate on the 1996 legislation, Moran said he thought: "We're not talking about a 35-year-old guy with a 25-foot boat. And these are the guys who are running me down."To receive safe boating certification in New Jersey, operators must complete an eight-hour instructional course, including a 50-question examination that requires 70 percent of the questions to be answered correctly, said State Police Trooper Jeff Andrus."It is comprehensive," he said, but "it is critical that all of the course
"Speed limits, as proposed by the state Boat Regulation Commission, would not have prevented that accident, nor the June 2002 capsizing of a performance boat off Sea Isle City that killed three brothers, said Patnaude, a Dover Township marine dealer and owner of a 37-foot performance boat.If the Legislature or boat commission propose rule changes, "they need to base it on facts," Patnaude said.And one fact to consider is the way performance boats ride at lower speeds, when their bows and long forward decks can rise up out of the water and make it hard for the helmsman to see what is in front of the boat, he warned."At 35 mph, the bow of my vessel has such an aggressive pitch that I would not be able to see over the bow if I wasn't 6 foot 7," Patnaude said.Any speed limit would be difficult for state police to enforce, because fiberglass boat hulls don't easily reflect police radar, Patnaude said, noting his club has experience trying to measure speeds at its own events.

Commission Chairman Roger K. Brown of Brick suggested his group and the Assembly panel meet over the coming months to discuss how they might coordinate their ideas for changing boat laws.Despite the warnings of powerboaters, Moran said he thinks "we've got to talk about speed limits. Unless we get off the dime and do something, it's just going to get worse."Brown has said the commission is now more inclined to consider speed limits only for specific areas of coastal bays and rivers. But William deCamp Jr., president of the environmental group Save Barnegat Bay, urged a baywide 30 mph speed limit.Accident statistics alone 'don't really describe the situation because some people won't go out there."Fear has taken them off the water," deCamp said.
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Old 11-16-2002, 12:27 PM
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Old 11-18-2002, 04:24 PM
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As you saw in the recently e-mailed "Asbury Park Press" article, NJPPC
attended the NJ Assembly boating safety task force meeting on Friday Nov.
15. In summary, there has been some positive developments for NJPPC
performance powerboaters but we still have our share of obstacles ahead.
First the good news:

1. The non-elected Boat Regulation Committee will now be working with
(under!!) the Assembly Task Force. The Assembly will need to follow proper
protocols for enacting safety measures. Fact finding, due process and
indeed "fair play" are now expected moving forward.

2. The Boat Regulation Committee will soon have another member, John
Shanohan, who has a much more balanced and comprehensive view point regarding
safety issues. John represents the NJ Marine Trade Association and is also
very strong proponent of boating education. We look to John to help make
the Boat Regulation Committee more responsive to the interests of all New
Jersey boaters.

3. Eighty percent of the meeting was devoted to boater education and the
idea of certification or licensing. Little time was devoted to discussing
speed limits.

4. The limited discussion around the need for universal speed limits was
not convincing and in fact the Assembly men seemed to draw the conclusion
that speed limits would be nearly impossible to enforce given the
ineffectiveness of radar on boat hulls and the Marine Police's limited
resources. Unlike the Boat Regulation Committee, they need to also
consider the practical aspects of what they carry forward.

5. We fully expect that mandatory boating education will be required for
all boat operators. While no one likes to be told that they need to go to
class to operate a boat - it's a small inconvenience considering it will
yield safer boating for all boaters alike. Licensing may also be required.
Once again an inconvenience but it will help keep the actual violators
accountable for their actions instead of holding the entire performance boat
community liable for the misdeeds of individuals.


We saw real strides toward promoting boating safety for all boaters.
Despite that speed limits have been repositioned as a less desirable safety
measure, they are still with us and most likely will be implemented to SOME
degree. That degree depends on all of our continued efforts. Now the less
positive news.

1. Someone or some group was trying to portray the Flowers accident at the
meeting as being SPEED related. Through questions and perhaps inadvertent
testimony, the sole survivor finally indicated that no one was operating the
60' boat at the time of the accident. His first statement was that high
speed (24 knots!) caused the accident.

2. Boat Regulation Committee Chairman, Roger Brown, has realized that the
speed limit on all NJ tidal waters was too broad so he announced that he's
now considering only the Barnegat Bay area (the epicenter of New Jersey
performance boating!). We still have a fight ahead for our home waters
which could escape the purview of the State Task force if we aren't
diligent. Some speed limits are likely.

3. The "Save Barnegat Bay Association" continue to be very involved in
promoting the 30 MPH speed limit (except 7 x 24 x 365 days) and boating
safety is only a secondary consideration. The association indicated that
they have 1,200 members - they also have good political connections. We can
not underestimate this group's impact. While our respective opinions
differ, they have the same passion for their cause as we have for ours, they
have been around longer and they have more people then we have. They most
likely will get a some "bone" or concession from their involvement. The
size of the "bone" will be influenced by our competing efforts.


Conclusion:

The playing field has now been leveled and the political process should now
be in affect for everyone. We need to continue to voice our opinions to the
elected officials on the boating safety issue. Rest assured, the Save the
Barnegat Bay folks and sailing clubs are doing the same for their respective
viewpoints. Remember education, licensing and enforcement of the current
laws are the best roads to SAFETY - not unenforceable speed limits! Don't
let our opposition change the issue from safety to their special interests.

Key New Jersey Representatives to contact (besides your local
representatives)

ASSEMBLYMAN JEFFREY W. MORAN (Republican-9TH District)
Heading Assembly Panel On Safe Boating
620 W. Lacey Road Forked River, N.J. 08731
Phone Number: (609) 693-6700 Fax: 693-2469

Assemblyman Robert J. Smith, II (D) (Assistant Majority Whip)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS: 110-F Greentree Road Turnersville, NJ 08012
PHONE NUMBER: (856) 232-6700

Assemblyman James W. Holzapfel (R)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS: 852 Highway 70 Brick, NJ 08724
PHONE NUMBER: (732) 840-9028 E-MAIL ADDRESS [email protected]

Assemblyman Albio Sires (D)(Speaker)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS: 303 58th Street, West New York, NJ 07093
PHONE NUMBER: (201) 854-0900
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Old 11-18-2002, 08:11 PM
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Please write your Assemblyman and copy a letter to save. Send a copy to the [email protected] Now is the time for strength in numbers. Believe me the Sailboaters are going to hit us with there numbers and we must have the strength to fight back. We will be no different then the Florida Intercoastel. If we don't stand up now Powerboating in NJ will never be the same!
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Old 11-19-2002, 10:30 AM
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I thank all of you for visiting this post and for supplying any pertinent information.
I think at present realizing that there have been alot of views , what needs to be said is the following: There would be serious ramifications for the boating community in general.
1. If a speed limit proposal were to go ahead, a speeding infraction could inevitably effect your CAR drivers license. If you were caught speeding on the water you may get insurance surcharges, higher insurance costs and possible loss of license on your License for your car!!!!!!! Just for going over 30mph. How would you get to work if your car license was suspended for an act deemed speeding on the bay? An act that is now a part of your boating rights.
2. Economically businesses and the NJ Shore would suffer if boating visitors went to other places like the Chesapeake, because they can't enjoy their powerboats as they hoped to in NJ.
3. Pokerruns may be more difficult to organize and get permits for.

If those who say: You give and inch and the other guy takes a mile is true then if the BRC and Task Force seize this opportunity to impose speed limits, what will they impose next?

Please remember that ultimately these talks were about safety and yet a speed limit grants no safety for anyone. Only education allows people the understanding to forge ahead safely and treat others with the respect and consideration.
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