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The Highway Patrol supports Gov. Easley’s veto of H.B. 2167. This legislation, if it becomes law, would allow wider boat trailers on our highways both during the day and at night.
The Highway Patrol’s concern with this legislation is that 9-foot-wide boats traveling on our highways at night, when visibility is limited, will increase collisions. In addition, we asked the General Assembly to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers to .04 that is consistent with the standard for commercial motor vehicles.
As with commercial vehicles, transporting these wider boats takes increased concentration and skill.
I was disappointed that the General Assembly rejected the proposal to reduce the blood alcohol content for motorists towing wider boat trailers since it endangers lives. These issues represent safety concerns we feel need to be addressed before we can support the proposed legislation.
Last year, troopers investigated 300 collisions involving motorists transporting boats. During 2007, troopers issued five over-width violations to motorists transporting non-commercial boat trailers statewide.
By comparison, troopers issued more than 900,000 citations for all violations during 2007. Clearly, troopers have not targeted boaters.
Troopers’ primary mission is to keep the roads as safe as possible, and they do that by enforcing the state’s traffic laws and investigating traffic collisions. This legislation, as written, will jeopardize safety on our highways.