NEWS - Easter Blitz Nets Speeding Boaters
More than 150 on-the-spot fines each costing from $100 to $250 were dished out to speeding boaters over the Easter long weekend in NSW.Acting Minister for Ports and Waterways Michael Daley has announced that 170 boaters were caught speeding or in breach of safety regulations during a NSW Maritime safety campaign over the Easter long weekend.
Mr Daley said a total of 3100 vessels were checked during ‘Operation Safe Speed’ which resulted in 170 on-the-spot fines ranging from $100 to $250, with 141 formal warnings issued.
"This state-wide campaign reminded skippers to travel at a safe speed for the conditions and the type of vessel, regardless of whether the area was signposted.
"The boating public has to understand that, like the roads, speeding on the water is irresponsible. It is often a factor in boating accidents, and it can also inconvenience other boaters."
Mr Daley said speed-related offences comprised 16 per cent of all penalty notices issued to boaters during the 2007-2008 boating season.
"We urge all boaters to obey speed signs, keep a proper lookout and slow down to a suitable speed for both the traffic and weather conditions."
During the campaign, vessels were also checked for safety equipment with operators directed to return to shore when gear was missing or deemed to be inadequate.
"While the number of fines issued for speeding represented only one per cent non-compliance, 138 penalty notices were also issued for other breaches of boating regulations," Mr Daley said.
"This figure is too high and to reinforce the safety message, we’ll be increasing our efforts in both education and enforcement.
"Most of the boating community do the right thing and comply with regulations but there are still too many who don’t carry enough lifejackets which are readily accessible and in good condition."
The regional break down from ‘Operation Safe Speed’ was as follows:
• Murray River – 35 fines and 28 formal warnings;
• South Coast – 30 fines and 46 formal warnings;
• Hawkesbury – 29 fines and 11 formal warnings;
• Sydney Harbour – 27 fines and 11 formal warnings;
• North Coast – 26 fines and 23 formal warnings; and
• Hunter – 22 fines and 22 formal warnings.
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