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Old 12-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
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Default Accident data on under age 12 operators

As of this time anyone under 16 can operate a power boat 25HP or less in New Hampshire. However in another thread it is announced that Representative Chris Christensen and the Marine Patrol want to remove operator privileges from persons under age 12.

"Rep. Christensen is seeking to close this loophole at the request of the NH Marine Patrol by ensuring that no one under 12 years old can operate any motorized vessel without a certified supervising adult on board. The bill also allows children 12 to 15 to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate in order to operate a boat limited to 25 horsepower or less."

I asked Lt. Tim Dunleavy of the Marine Patrol for data on under age 16 operators. He was kind enough to respond quickly with that data and I owe him my thanks. The accident data is very telling. In the last 6 years 14 and 15 year old operators have been involved in 5 accidents. One of them a fatal accident. During that same period of time operators age 13 and under have had ZERO ACCIDENTS.

This proposed legislation would remove operator privileges from an age group that has had no accidents whatsoever in the entire State of New Hampshire over the last 6 years. It would however allow an age group that is having accidents to retain their operator privileges.

It is more than obvious that the data does not support this legislation. Can anyone tell me why they are targeting an age group with a PERFECT record?


Accidents - Operator Under Age 16
(REPORTABLE ONLY)
2005 0 - -
2006 1 Age 15 PI
2007 2 Age 15 Drowning (fall off PWC)
Age 15 Damage
2008 1 Age 15 PI
2009 1 Age 14 PI
2010 0 - -
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
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Maybe, it is just a case of "perception verses reality" with the perception being that the younger boaters are just more likely to get into an accident because they are younger, or something like that? Could well be that the 14 and 15 year old boaters are just more likely to get over confident and start going for more risky type boat handling and faster speeds for the adrenalin rush of a speedy boat ride.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
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Is the data valid given the number of drivers in the 12 and under category? Is it a large enough sample size?

I imagine that you'd also find a perfect record for children 6 and under but I don't think anyone would be pushing for them to drive either. Same for age 95+.

I don't have a strong feeling on the age restriction one way or the other, but I'm not sure your argument holds water--based on data. Possibly based on other anecdotal evidence, but not the accident records you cite...
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by superdawgfan View Post
Is the data valid given the number of drivers in the 12 and under category? Is it a large enough sample size?

I imagine that you'd also find a perfect record for children 6 and under but I don't think anyone would be pushing for them to drive either. Same for age 95+.

I don't have a strong feeling on the age restriction one way or the other, but I'm not sure your argument holds water--based on data. Possibly based on other anecdotal evidence, but not the accident records you cite...
Sorry, I don't understand why the data doesn't hold water.

No accidents of any kind involving operators age 13 and under for the last 6 years in the State of New Hampshire. A perfect record!

This is a perfect example of trying to fix a problem that does not exist.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bear Islander View Post
This is a perfect example of trying to fix a problem that does not exist.
You should get in touch with State Rep Sherman "Packy" Packwood of Londonderry. His most favorite quoted sentence is "This is a solution looking for a problem." He has been the minority leader in the NH House for the last two years, and is about age 60, and is a Sturgis motorcycle hall of famer. He seems like a friendly helpful person and would probably respond to an email. As you probably know, the NH House of Reps has 400 different members.

Who knows, maybe he is on the house committee that would be look'n at this new bill and could support an "inexpedient to pass" opinion, and possibly influence some other state reps what with his minority leader status. You could offer to take him and a couple state rep buddies out fishing or something next May.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Islander View Post
Sorry, I don't understand why the data doesn't hold water.

No accidents of any kind involving operators age 13 and under for the last 6 years in the State of New Hampshire. A perfect record!

This is a perfect example of trying to fix a problem that does not exist.

I think all he is trying to say is that the sample size is small so therefore we cant say how accurate a measure it is of the safe boating habits of the age group. It's a very small group of operators and therefore a low number of accidents.

Regardless it means that there doesnt seem to be any issue with boaters of that age group either due to the small population or whatever the reasons may be.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:31 PM   #7
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This is a perfect example of trying to fix a problem that does not exist.
Not picking on you BI, but this same statement can also be applied to the speed limit.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AllAbourdon View Post
I think all he is trying to say is that the sample size is small so therefore we cant say how accurate a measure it is of the safe boating habits of the age group. It's a very small group of operators and therefore a low number of accidents.

Regardless it means that there doesnt seem to be any issue with boaters of that age group either due to the small population or whatever the reasons may be.

I understand about small samples. However there isn't a small number of accidents. There are NO accidents in the age group in question. Zero is a very accurate measure of safe boating habits.


Seaplane Pilot - You could apply that statement to speed limits. But you would be wrong.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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Seaplane Pilot - You could apply that statement to speed limits. But you would be wrong.
In your opinion perhaps, but not in mine.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:37 PM   #10
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I have finally received the data from the Marine Patrol on underage summonses and warnings. I took an extra couple of weeks for them to compile this data.

It is unbelievable to me that the Marine Patrol would request legislation without even taking a cursory glance at the THEIR OWN statistics on the age group they wish to exclude. However that is what has happened.

The under 12 age group that will lose operator privileges under this proposed legislation has a total of 9 warnings and 0 summonses, state wide, over the last three years.

The 12 to 15 age group that will retain operator privileges has had 97 warnings and 12 summonses, state wide, over the last three years.

So age 0 to 11 years have 0 accidents, 9 warnings and 0 summonses state wide.

I'm thinking I should ask for the data on operators over 70 years of age. I'm willing to bet their stats are worse than these and should therefore lose their operator privileges as well.
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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Question Anyone Seen an Actual Quote from the NHMP?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Islander View Post
It is unbelievable to me that the Marine Patrol would request legislation without even taking a cursory glance at the THEIR OWN statistics on the age group they wish to exclude. However that is what has happened.
Not necessarily:

So far, the only source for ANY Marine Patrol request is SBONH-NHRBA, whose "press release" "stands behind" Rep. Christensen's bill.

Quote:
"Representative Chris Christensen and the Marine Patrol seek to close a loophole.

"For Immediate Release:

"Safe Boaters of New Hampshire applauds the efforts of the Marine Patrol and Rep. Chris Christensen as they seek to make NH waterways even safer."
Quote:
"Rep. Christensen is seeking to close this loophole at the request of the Marine Patrol by ensuring that no one under 12 years old can operate any motorized vessel without a certified supervising adult on board. The bill also allows children 12 to 15 to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate in order to operate a boat limited to 25 horsepower or less.

"Safe Boaters of New Hampshire wholeheartedly endorses this bill."
'Thought that read kinda fishy.


Quote:
“To promote safety through education and legislation that works”


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Old 12-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #12
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Default I'm still afraid

Well then that sums it up no accidents, no tickets for that age group, who's to worry? I worry. Despite the data, and despite what I am sure are some very responsible under 12 year olds, I would feel safer without them operating alone. I don't know what those 9 warnings were, but they could have been very dangerous incidents that by sheer luck didn't result in a tragedy for either the operator or someone else.

Sounds familar doesn't it?
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:34 AM   #13
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Statistics are not the only thing that you should be looking at when considering a law like this. While the statistic don't lie and BI is correct this seems like this legislation is trying to fix a problem that isn't there. One must take a step back and think about things. 1st for an accident to have to be legally reported to the Marine Patrol, there needs to be X-amount of damage... (sorry I don't know what that limit currently is)... Now if the damage is under the limit, then guess what there is no record officially of it. So now we need to guestion how many kids take a rowboat with a 10 h.p. motor, and bump into things, and Dad and Mom, then pay for the repair? Now top that off on how often the Marine Patrol puts out a verbal warning to kids and parents, once again this doesn't get logged, in the statistic mentioned here....

Additionally I believe this legislation is aimed at solving problems in the insurance industry... how many people have damage to their rowboats and docks because Junior doesn't dock well, a law like this will give insurance companies a chance to fall back on something, when they are dealing with frivolous claims....

In short it takes more then statistics, to back things up, at times, and this is one of those times... now I am sure that someone is going to take issue with the fact that the speed limit opposition always trys to sit on these types of statistics, and that is true... But you know what that is an issue, that is hard to cloud over the statistic with.... Don't compare the two... the issues are different
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:45 PM   #14
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Default Two Factors

I think there are two factors that are being somewhat overlooked.

1) The bill, as I understand it, will require boater safety education for those children that are 12-15. The MP statistics show that it is precisely this age group that needs the education.

2) Kids under 12 are rarely boating without at least a fair amount of parental supervision. My kids and their friend have grown up on and around the lake. None of us allowed our 12 year old kids to be running their boats unless they were right under our eye. When they hit 14 and 15, they gained much more freedom, and frankly, that's when they get cocky, do dumb things and get pulled over by the MP.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
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I understand the fear that young children do not have the experience or judgment to take a boat out on the lake without direct adult supervision. However there a few points to consider along those lines.

Firstly, this legislation is not just for Winnipesaukee, it is state wide including low horsepower boats on small ponds.

Secondly, this legislation does nothing to prevent an 8 year old from taking out a sailboat, of ANY size, onto the lake where they can sail around the entire lake all day or all night. If a 5 HP skiff requires adult supervision then so does a catamaran on the broads.

Lastly, despite our reasonable fears about the need for adult supervision the simple fact is that there IS NO PROBLEM for this legislation to fix. The present level of adult supervision must be working. Zero accidents and zero summonses is about as good as you can get.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:12 AM   #16
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Post FYI: No Requirement in Massachusetts...

"Under-12" Education:

Quote:
"New England states require varying degrees of boating education.

"Massachusetts only requires it for operators between the ages of 12 and 15 who drive boats without adult supervision.

"New Hampshire requires training for people 16 and over who operate boats with more than 25 horsepower.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...cus_on_safety/
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