Senate Bill Will Save Lives and Make Waterways Safer

March 18th, 2013 Posted by Water Safety 0 comments on “Senate Bill Will Save Lives and Make Waterways Safer”

Senate Bill Will Save Lives and Make Waterways Safer
LLA Director Applauds Work of Lake Lanier Legislative Caucus

GAINESVILLE – Joanna Cloud, Executive Director of the Lake Lanier Association, today credited members of the Lake Lanier Legislative Caucus for drafting tougher boating laws that will save lives and make boating safer on lakes throughout the state.

Senate Bill 136, which passed the Georgia Senate in a unanimous vote, will require Georgia boaters to maintain lower blood alcohol levels than in the past, meet training requirements and wear life-jackets at an extended age.

The bill came out of public hearings hosted by the caucus in Cumming and Gainesville last December.

Cloud said, “While, ultimately, we would like to see more resources devoted toward law enforcement on Lake Lanier, supporting the enforcement we do have is a critical task. Senate Bill 136 allows our law enforcement officers and legal system to better enforce and prosecute issues as they arise.”

Senator Renee Untermann, R-Buford, a member of the caucus, told the Augusta Chronicle, “I know that Senate Bill 136 is a statewide bill, but in particular Lake Lanier, because of the urbanization of the area and the encroachment in direct relationship with Atlanta, we have an overpopulation, especially on holidays. Unfortunately, we’ve had several instances of boating accidents and boating drownings.”

The bill places age limits on those who can drive boats and requires boaters born after 1997 to take free online training or submit to a briefing when renting a vessel. It also lowers the legal blood alcohol level from 0.10 to 0.08, the same level for driving an automobile. It also raises the age for mandatory life jackets on a moving boat from 10 to 13

The caucus was formed in response to safety concerns arising from last summer’s highly-publicized incidents on Lake Lanier, that claimed the lives of three people, including two Gwinnett County brothers.

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 For more information, contact Joanna Cloud at 770.503.7757 or jcloud@lakelanier.org.

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