Thread: Buzzing PWC Owners be Warned
05-10-2008, 07:17 AM #1
Buzzing PWC Owners be Warned
BUZZING PERSONAL WATERCRAFT OWNERS BE WARNED 05/10/2008
A lot of personal-watercraft users will be ticked off, while fans of peace and safety will be delighted about a ruling this week by the state's highest court that says towns may indeed ban personal watercraft on lakes and ponds.
Well, fans of relative peace and safety, the law says that only personal watercraft may be banned, but other kinds of motorboats cannot.
Which is precisely the beef a Camden man had with the law. In 2005, Mark Haskell took his Sea Doo personal watercraft out on a lake where it and others like it had been banned, to protest the fact that the state allowed local residents to discriminate against his type of craft. He ended up in court arguing that it was unfair to ban personal watercraft while letting other motorized craft buzz around freely on lakes and ponds.
We disagree, and we're glad to see that the judges on the state's Supreme Judicial Court upheld the law.
Personal watercraft do share something with other motorized vessels -- they all go on the water and use engines to power them around.
But there the resemblance ends.
While there are some obnoxious motorboaters -- more and more of them, it seems -- they still are far outnumbered in the nuisance realm by wild, crazy and very noisy personal watercraft operators doing figure eights just when you've decided to take your afternoon swim.
Ask the paddlers, the anglers and the homeowners looking for a quiet afternoon on their dock what they think about personal watercraft and you'll likely get a bunch of answers unprintable in a family newspaper. There are nice personal watercraft operators, to be sure. We know at least one. But the Legislature passed a law in 2005 allowing towns to ban such operators on the state's great ponds, and we're glad to see that law is legally defensible. May it stay on the books for a long time.
05-12-2008, 09:50 PM #2
The Maine supreme court did in fact uphold a selective ban on PWCs on inland lake.
But the PWC rider really made only one legal argument. He did not argue equal protection under the law.
This case offers nothing to the discussion of whether PWCs disproportionately impact environment or safety. State did not even have to argue those points.
Important case to know about. Good reason for all of us to remember our common goals and interests.
05-13-2008, 07:40 AM #3
this is a bit of a rant but im so tired of being discriminated agaisnt!!!
a few years ago LCRA talked about restricting PWC's..
there main reason was the enviormental impact PWC's made.
also the dangers of pwc operators..
well a group of us locals took a ride from dam to dam to take some interesting pictures..
first off we took photo's of every LCRA - police - sheriff boat we could find. NOW this was before the 4 stroke outboard where populars..
YUP they all had 2 v6 outboards.. 2strokes...
hmmmm... 12 cylinder vs 2 cylinders so who's makeing a bigger impact on the enviorment??????
then the DAM cigar boats.. dual 454's with open exhaust. and they say PWC's are load and anoying my PWC doesn't rattle every home for a 2 mile radius like some of these BIG boats..
And as far as saftey goes...........
well i agree theres allwas a few dum*** PWC operators that do stupid stuff. i see that all the time. BUT i also see much more DANGEROUS things going on in the big boats and even the wake boats. 90% of the time the boats are overloaded and WAY intoxicated. cutting people off. not giving the right of way. and just plain thinking becouse there bigger WE should get outta there way.. wrong!!!!!!!
And ive been allmost run down a few times by drunk ***holes on purpose in there 30+ foot donzi's just to get a laugh from his drunk buddys.
not so funny if your the one FLOATING and see one aim right at you on purpose.
saw a powerboater that was trying to run over PWC's... later that day the boat operator finally manage to hit and injure a fellow pwc rider and was arrested for DWI and atemped murder ...
PWC's are not the problem
STUPID PEOPLE are the problem-not what they operate!!!!!!
Last edited by rapidacceleration; 05-13-2008 at 09:28 AM.
05-13-2008, 08:18 AM #4
When I was into racing dirtbikes, people complained and tried to shut the track down, (which they ended up doing). I made a bunch of shirts that said motocross is not a crime. Needless to say I sold a bunch. I wish all those old farts would think back when they were young raising hell. Having fun. My wifes parents live next to a marina. They have a group of older guys who ride skis, all the time they take trips to diffrent places etc... I 'am sure the law doesn't bother that goup of 50 + seniors. I know my ski is loud but I respect people when i pass them in boats fishing etc... Oh well RIDE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
05-13-2008, 09:33 AM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2006
the single out PWC's in AZ but they didn't even call them by the proper name
05-13-2008, 01:04 PM #6
05-13-2008, 03:15 PM #7
Remember though, its the local, state or federal governments that make laws. The courts just apply those laws as written, or invalidate if somehow illegal.
The court in Maine said that whether PWCs should be banned is a political decision. Court said it must give great deference to govt regulation unless it has no rational basis whatsoever. Proving complete irrationality is a high hurdle esp when our Supreme Court says that govt may attempt to fix perceived problems piecemeal rather than all at once (ie ban PWCs now and all boats later). The hurdle can and has been cleared in many other cases though.
05-13-2008, 09:29 PM #8
The Maine court's position, that it must uphold any duly enacted law unless its totally irrational, does not apply to laws that discriminate on basis of sex, race, or religion or which affect a fundamental constitutional right, like voting. The state and federal courts scrutinize those kinds of laws much more closely and demand a good explanation of why they are necessary.
If the initial premise is that there is no fundamental right to participate in the activity, like operate a boat or PWC, the reviewing court can stick you with the much tougher job of proving complete irrationality. In the Maine case, the trial court sided with the PWCr but the state supreme court overruled.
This is one of the reasons why its important to participate in the early stages of any political process that may lead to more laws or regulation, whether directly, or through support of organizations like AWA.
05-13-2008, 10:19 PM #9
05-13-2008, 10:42 PM #10
Where was the AWA on this particular issue? This certainly seems like a "hot-button."
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