Con Issue Opinion by LFDA Editor, against Boat Speed Limits:
Enforcement of existing laws will increase safety, with no need for new laws:
- There are already ample laws in place to keep the Lake safe, and maintain the fun that boaters on Winnipesaukee have come to expect. Education and enforcement of existing laws will keep the Lake safe, not new laws. For example, vigorous enforcement of the “Safe Passage” rule will keep everyone safer, and negate the need for a speed limit. Maintaining 150ft. between boats is sufficient to keep everyone safer and to avoid collisions.
The law will have adverse economic effects:
- This is just an attempt to kick high-performance boats off the Lake, and will most definitely cause business to fall off around the area. People who can afford to own a performance boat spend a lot more money in the local economy than the average boater does. Real estate prices will fall when it’s learned that there are speed limits to worry about, affecting all property owners.
A safe speed depends on the boat:
- Some boats are dangerous at 20mph because they are not built for that speed, — others are built to be safe at 60mph. Arbitrarily picking a speed limit is unfair to boaters who have bought boats that operate safely at higher speeds. Why should one category of boater determine the law rather than another category because kayakers -- and other small-boat owners -- feel insecure? Why should our laws discriminate against owners or larger boat who safely navigate the same public waters? Next we’ll want to ban the MS Mount Washington at 200 feet. It's scary.
The new law will be difficult and costly to enforce:
- Trying to enforce a speed limit will draw valuable manpower away from active enforcement of the other laws already on the books. It is difficult, if not impossible to accurately measure the speed of a boat—it’s not like a car traveling in a defined lane.
There have been no accidents due to speed alone, and safe boat operators will be harassed with no benefit to others:
- Other than some people “feeling” upset by high speed boating there is no evidence that a speed limit will make the Lake safer or reduce accidents and the new law opens up the possibility of harassing those boaters who are above the speed limit, but are operating safely. Recent accidents on the Lake were after dark and involved alcohol. Will inebriated boaters perform better with a speed limit?