Speeding boaters targeted over Easter

Speeding boaters targeted over Easter weekend

Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi has urged boaters to keep to a safe speed this Easter long weekend as NSW Maritime Boating Safety Officers conduct a State-wide safety campaign.

Mr Tripodi said ‘Operation Safe Speed’ would involve random checks of vessels on harbours, dams, lakes, rivers and offshore to ensure skippers keep to a safe speed at all times.

“For drivers it’s the same on the water as it is on the roads — speeding can kill,” Mr Tripodi said. “The skipper is responsible for making sure a boat travels at a safe speed for all conditions, which may mean travelling below the signposted speed limit.

“Skippers should maintain a proper lookout, as well as ensuring their vessel can be stopped or manoeuvred within a distance appropriate to the circumstances and conditions.

“A safe speed is a comfortable speed for you and your passengers, and allows you to take evasive action if required,” Mr Tripodi said.

A ‘safe speed’ depends on a number of factors including:

• Visibility;

• Traffic density;

• Manoeuvrability of the vessel;

• Presence of background lights from the shore if travelling at night;

• State of the wind, sea and current, and the proximity of navigational hazards; and

• Depth of water.

Mr Tripodi said speed-related offences accounted for 16 per cent of all penalty notices issued to boaters during the 2007-2008 boating season.
“State-wide, this equated to 559 of a total of 3405 fines for non-compliance with speed requirements.
“In the year to the end of March, there were 32 reported boating accidents involving speed.
“These resulted in three fatalities, 10 serious injuries and six minor injuries,” Mr Tripodi said.

More information on boating safety can be found at: