Should New York State Waterways Have A Speed Limit For Motorized Boats?
I'm sure that question is going to generate some strong opinions. I'm bringing up the question after seeing a report from WENY-TV in Elmira over the weekend about a horrible boating accident on Seneca Lake.
Seneca Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes with the Village of Watkins Glen at the southern end and Geneva at the northern end. WENY-TV reported the boat crash occurred near Himrod late last Saturday afternoon (7/10.)
The boat was described as a high performance speed boat traveling at a high rate of speed according to WENY-TV and the Yates County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page.
Six persons on the boat were ejected in the crash. One of the six did not survive. According to the follow-up story, WENY-TV reports there is no speed limit on Seneca Lake past 100 feet of the shoreline. Some of the other Finger Lakes do have speed limits for motorized watercraft.
Granted, lakes, especially larger lakes like the Finger Lakes have a lot of room to maneuver a boat, jet ski or whatever you have a motor attached to, but just like roadways, should waterways also have a speed limit for watercraft? Boats can't stop anywhere as quickly as a vehicle on the road, and even vehicles take up a good amount of time before being able to come to a complete stop. And a sharp turn at a high speed can be dangerous with watercraft.
Maybe it will be a next step for New York State to consider as they continue to take steps for safe boating on waterways in our state. Two years ago, Governor Cuomo signed into law a requirement (Brianna's Law) that by 2025, anyone who wants to operate a power boat, must take a safety course in advance. It's a five year phase-in plan that began at the beginning of 2020.
What are your thoughts? Should all waterways, including lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. have a speed limit for motorized watercraft?
via WENY-TV, Yates County Sheriff's Office Facebook, NY Governor
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