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  • Contact governor, ask to not veto boat trailer bill

    N.C. boaters who trailer large boats need to e-mail the governorís office if you donít want to pay extra fines and fees in the future, just for hauling your boat to the coast or lake.
    N.C. House Bill 2167 was passed and sent to Governor Mike Easley, and Senate Bill 1695, a companion bill, also recently was passed and sent to the governor.
    Easley apparently doesnít understand the importance of the bills, mainly because a rider was attached to allow extra-long 18-wheeler trailers (up to 53 feet) to be legally be towed on N.C. roads. The governor has said he will veto the bills.
    These are two separate items and donít need to be linked.
    Rules have been in place for decades that restrict boaters from trailering their boats at night, without permits, without special driverís licenses, red flats on poles, etc., but until recently, they weren't enforced against recreational boaters.
    Last year the N.C. Highway Patrol began to enforce the rules and hundreds of boaters received $500-plus fines for trailering their boats on N.C. highways. The public outcry has been enormous and state representatives have taken heed.
    On July 15 the Senate passed its boat-trailering bill with only two votes against. However Easley said he still plans to veto the bill, even with an amendment passed by the Senate. The Senate hoped to avoid his veto by reducing the maximum-width limit to 114 inches for 24/7 towing and not allow night towing with widths greater than 114 inches and up to 120 inches. Also, no permit would be required to tow a boat.
    Itís important the governor hear from as many boaters as possible requesting he not veto the bill. He may be unaware of how strongly the public feels about this issue, how strongly the legislature supported the publicís interest, and how important it is to the fishing/boating/tourism industries in this state.
    E-mail your requests to not veto the boat-trailering bills to