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Letter to NC Governor
For those of you that travel to NC to boat and are not familiar with this, let me bring you up to speed.
There are laws currently in NC that up until recently were not enforced by the NCSHP for over width trailering. Current law states that anything over 8'6" (which includes guides on a trailer) would require an over width permit and can not be towed at night, during the weekend or on holidays. Boats as small as 21' in length are affected. In the fall of 2007, those towing in NC started receiving citations ranging from $500 to $2500.
There was a public forum held in Wilmington, NC by the NCSHP. The NCSHP told the group, and I quote, "if you do not like the law, contact your legislators and change the law, we do not make the law, we only enforce the law."
Rep Arthur Williams of Pitt County stepped up and introduced H2167 which would allow boats up to 120" to tow 24/7 without a permit with a provision that amber lights be added to the widest portion to increase visibility at night. Trailers/boats over 120" would still be allowed to tow every day of the week but not after sunset.
This bill passed with overwhelming support in the House and it has overwhelming support in the Senate. The bill will be going for its second reading on Monday, July 14. However, the Governor has sent word that he will veto this bill based on unfounded safety concerns expressed by higher ranking of the NCSHP unless we give up night time towing (30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset) and accept a ZERO TOLERANCE stipulation.
Boating accidents make up less than a half of 1% of accidents on NC highways. Only 7 accidents annually involve a boat greater than 102”. Yes, 7 boats annually. Furthermore, more accidents involving police, EMS and fire trucks combined occur in ONE year than the number of boat accidents in THREE years. (data provided by DMV Crash Facts)
Another interesting fact, the NCSHP can not provide evidence to show what type of trailer was reported in the accident, if the accident included one or more vehicles or who was at fault.
Opposition to this bill by the higher ranking of the NCSHP and the Governor tends to disregard the actual historical risk and the EXTREMELY low frequency and low severity category of the accident type. They are attempting to make law based on something other than FACT.
As you can see, we all have to get involved to protect access to NC roads for residents and tourist alike. This is a grassroots effort to show the Governor our displeasure for his ill-informed decision to veto the bill on unfounded safety issues provided by the higher ranking of the NCSHP.
Husbands, wives, children, friends, I encourage ALL to not only fill out this letter to the Governor but to make it a point to call the Governor’s office on Monday and respectfully speak out against the veto of H2167. Click on link below to sign letter to the Governor.
Boat Towing Issues In North Carolina
Thanks so much for your support!