The following was sent to NC State Rep. Cary Allred (a freind ) and with the help of Ms. Zachary his administrative assistant legislation will be introduced during the 2008 session by Rep Allred.
If your from NC please contact your local NC Rep and ask them to get on board with us if you have not done so.
The more people that make these contacts the more of a chance this legislation has of succeeding.
RE: Towing Issues In North Carolina
From: Angela Zachary (Rep. Allred) ([email protected]
) on behalf of Rep. Cary Allred ([email protected]
Sent: Wed 5/07/08 11:43 AM
To: [email protected]
Thank you for writing to me. I have inquired about your "Boat Towing Issues" and according to a staff attorney at the General Assembly, the NC Highway Patrol says there is a need for legislation to resolve the towing issue. I've requested that a bill be prepared to resolve it in the upcoming 2008 Session.
Thanks you for your email and for bringing this issue to my attention.
Representative Cary Allred
Member, NC House of Representatives
64th District - Alamance County 336-229-1980
(Prepared on behalf of Rep. Cary Allred by Angie Zachary, Legislative Assistant)
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 6:18 PMT
to: [email protected]
; Rep. Cary Allred; Rep. Alice Bordsen; Sen. Tony Foriest
Subject: Towing Issues In North Carolina
Dear Legislative Members,
By now you and your office have probably become aware of the boat towing issue that is affecting the boating and fishing communities in North Carolina.
Last year the North Carolina Highway Patrol began enforcing over width and overweight regulations on boats being towed that are over 102 inches (8 foot 6 inches.) The results were citations being issued, and in some cases for totals of almost $2000. The issuance of these citations has left many boaters and fishermen in a state of shock since most are recreational boaters and are normally taking themselves and their families on day trips. The public has been towing their boats to destinations within North Carolina for many years without the enforcement actions we have seen over the past year or so.
Another problem surfaced in trying to research what was required to tow our boats lawfully. In almost all cases throughout North Carolina, the Division of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina Highway Patrol or local officials could not answer the questions concerning the issue of boat towing with any uniformity. This seems to confirm that there have not been issues in the past when we have towed boats in North Carolina.
As recreational boaters in North Carolina we are looking for some relief from the over width trailer restrictions.
The 102 inch restriction affects boats as small as 18 foot. We as boaters and fisherman are trying to come to terms as to why our boats and trailers are not in the same recreational category as campers? As of today the over width issues of not being able to tow before sunrise and after sunset, towing on Sundays and towing on certain holidays are devastating to the average boater. These restrictions are also certain to put strain on all the businesses associated with boating and fishing.
How can you help your constituents? There are things we can do to modify the restrictions that are imposed on the North Carolina boat towing community without compromising safety:
- Categorize our boat trailers (BT) as recreational vehicles the same as travel trailers. Allow any weight exemptions specified for recreational camping trailers towed by property-carrying vehicles such as pickup trucks and cargo vans (as noted in the DMV Title Manual, Section 2 Chapter 1 page 3) to extend to recreational boat trailers.
- Amend N.C.G.S 20-116 to include a tolerance of 6 inches each side (114 inches overall maximum width) allowed without permit at any time for recreational boat trailers (and boats.) Perhaps existing HB266 (6 inches per side tolerance for 102 inch RVs) which has passed and is now in the NC Senate might be modified to cover this with the addition of a few words?
- Amend NCDOT permit rules to allow (with permits) towing of recreational boats between 114 inches and 120 inches wide at any time, and to allow towing of recreational boats greater than 120 inches wide during daylight hours only 7 days per week (including holidays and holiday weekends.)
- Include language in NC G.S. 20-88 to specifically exclude passenger vehicles classified as SW or MP from weighted tag requirements for non-commercial use.
Please note that FMCSA regulations (23 CFR 658.15) allow states to grant exemptions to the 102 inch rule without special-use permits for recreational vehicles and have many exemptions for items on commercial vehicles.
Please do what you can to help as this will not only affect Boaters and Fishermen but any businesses that are associated with these recreational activities. Thank you for being such a critical and important part of our community and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions.
2125 Belmont St.
Burlington, NC 27215
PS: Also an e-mail of thanks would be appropriate to Rep. Allred and Ms. Zachary!
A big thanks to the orginal editor of this letter for all his hard work!