A forum was held in Florida recently. The topic? Boat safety. It makes sense that Floridians are concerned with boating safety, as the state has 1,197 miles of coastline. In addition to ocean waters, Florida is home to more than 11,000 miles of lakes, streams and rivers. As people turn to these waters in record numbers, boating safety is a hot topic.
People in North Carolina should sit up and take notice of this forum. With miles of our own coastline, boating has become increasingly popular in recent years. Not only do we have boaters who live right down the road, but we have tourists who flock to our waters to enjoy vacations and weekend getaways. Safe boating should be important to any person in any state with access to water.
Let’s take a brief look at what was discussed at this recent meeting that was attended by legislators, law enforcement officers, and citizens alike.
One of the biggest concerns is a lack of staffing in law enforcement agencies. This is an issue across the country. There is simply too great an amount of water to patrol effectively. Law enforcement officials urge anyone who will be spending time in the water to know how to swim.
Law enforcement officials want to be sure that no one under the age of 16 is permitted in a boat without an adult present. Any minor who will be going out in a boat should be required to fill out a form. This would give officials a record of children on the water alone.
Another suggestion was to have separate boating licenses for lakes and the ocean. Driving on each is a very different experience, and separate licenses would require separate and specific training courses.
One thing that was agreed upon is that the focus does not need to be on new legislation. Instead, monies should be put towards education and funding for law enforcement. Boating safety courses, safety equipment giveaways, and routinely updated safety information were also discussed.
If there is any certainty, it is that today’s boats are faster and more powerful. They are also being enjoyed by more people than ever before. When it comes to safe boating, no forum or piece of legislation is going to give people a dose of what is really needed: common sense.
It is your responsibility to operate your boat safely. Use your head when you are behind the wheel. Drive slowly, operate your vessel according to current conditions, and outfit your boat with safety equipment. When every boater acts responsibly, accidents are greatly reduced.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, reach out to our personal injury attorneys today. We are here for you and will review your case at no cost to you. Call us now.