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Old 08-05-2009, 05:20 PM   #41
VtSteve
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They did fight hard for the data, almost as hard as they fought to get a poll consisting of very broad language done.

They can't wait for any data because it shows nothing, just as it did last year. They openly accused the MP of not doing the job properly and of being biased. With the lake traffic down this summer, and hardly a mention of a ticket, much less a ton of them, what do they have? Same as always, an agenda with no data. If they were part of the Global Warming debate, god knows what kinds of laws they could get passed

Getting back to the BI support for the wording. It's important to understand the difference between the old and new wording.

Old:

270:29-a Careless and Negligent Operation of Boats. Any person who shall operate a power boat upon any waters of the state in a careless and negligent manner or so that the lives and safety of the public are endangered shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1981, 353:12, eff. Aug. 22, 1981.


Try to take that one to court. So now you'd have a boater arguing that 24mph is safe and prudent because...... blah blah


New

X.(a) No person shall operate a vessel on Lake Winnipesaukee at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions and without regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. In all cases, speed shall be controlled so that the operator will be able to avoid endangering or colliding with any person, vessel, object, or shore.


Specific, not vague and open to all kinds of legal interpretations. It also gives the MP the ability to bring into play that speed is important to the event. I disagree with BI that the new wording is all that important to last year's accident, although it most assuredly would have applied, and would make the prosecutor's job much easier. The prosecution apparently didn't have much problem coming up with multiple charges anyway.

But the wording is very good, and does not in anyway restrict anyone's ability to enjoy their craft on the lake. There may be cases where an MP interprets the conditions to be real, and may not be correct. But this wording has teeth, and will at least give the LEO's some help in getting a real bad guy off the water if there's one around. This is not a law that's aimed at someone innocently being only 100' away from a dock or boat, or just screws up without a foul. Hopefully, LEO's will use it prudently, and target those that really need it, like repeat offenders, habitual recklessness, that sort of thing. It also makes it easier to stop the drinks, which is important.
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