ksdaoski

Wisconsin New Spotter Law Needing Support

153 posts in this topic
On 4/18/2017 at 3:48 PM, onwi said:

Today's meeting went well.  Many speakers present in support and only a few against.  I'll be keeping my eyes open for progress.  The bill needs an open senate floor vote and to progress out of the assembly committee and then an open assembly vote.  There are a couple of legislators in the SE region of Wisconsin who seem to want to make this a more contentious issue, but we are hopeful.

Who is making it contentious?

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3 hours ago, ksdaoski said:

Who is making it contentious?

The law enforcement agents of Lake Geneva are pushing on their legislator, Tyler August to not pass this bill.  Tyler August is, unfortunately, the No 2 person in the Assembly.  This means he has the ear of Robin Vos, the speaker.  We believe that there would be sufficient votes or support to get passage for this republican sponsored bill in a republican leg. with a republican gov.  But, Robin Vos is the person who decides whether or not this bill, or others, get heard for the open vote.  I don't know what would happen if Tyler August really tried to push and get this stopped.

If we knew folks in their districts,RV Dist. TA Dist., then I would suggest strongly that they contact them to voice their support for the bill.  Unfortunately, I don't know anyone down there.  Closest I know is @DAI , but it's my understanding that he is between those two.

The other person pushing against this seems to be Cindi Duchow. CD Dist., from around Delafield.  There were people from her district at the meeting speaking in support of this bill.  Her family has been connected to boating for 30+ years and has a fishing/pontoon dealership in the area.  She seems to believe that watersports are dangerous.  If constituents who are willing to come and speak on behalf of the bill and she is still willing to register openly (at the meeting) her disapproval, then I doubt we are changing her mind.  That said, I'm still contacting people I know in her district to contact her and let her know we disagree.  Unfortunately, I'm currently away and really swamped with work.  

So, if anyone knows people in Lake Geneva/Delevan/East Troy (Tyler August), Union Grove/Sturtevant (Robin Vos), or North Lake/Okauchee/Delafield/Dousman/Wales (Cindi Duchow) please have them contact their legislators to simply voice their support and request that the bills move forward.  No need to argue with these people, but we need them to know their constituents feel that the bill should be supported.

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Now, if you'd like information on why they should support this bill - Generally those who don't agree indicate they "feel" safer with a spotter.  I understand that feeling, but I simply believe they don't have sufficient experience without a spotter.  I felt a bit off my first time out without one as well.  I've since began to feel that a spotter, in many cases, has the potential to be more of a distraction.  

Thankfully, safety is a quantifiable metric that is used to compare performance all the time.  These stats consider the years 2011 to 2015 (the past 5 reported years).  I define towed accidents as the number of vessels involved in reported accidents that occurred while the vessel was participating in towed watersports.

-Nationwide, the 17 states that allow mirror usage reported 3.8 towed accidents per 100,000 registered boats.  Spotter states reported 6.3.  This is an increase of 40% in the "safer" states.

-Towed accidents accounted for less of the total boating accidents in mirror states as well, 9.6% vs. 13.7%.

-Minnesota is the best comparison to Wisconsin in terms of boating culture.  During that period Minnesota reported 71 towed accidents.  Wisconsin reported 92.  Minnesota also average roughly 178,000 more boats each of those years.

- Minnesota's accident rate per 100,000 registered boats was 1.75 to Wisconsin's 2.92.  

5 years of nationwide data should help to account for some of the other "what about X" scenarios.  If you get enough data with a large enough subject group, those concerns, like local control, life jackets, driver age or alcohol, should wash away.  In the end, this is an issue of personal responsibility.  In my opinion, the data proves that boat owners are responsible enough to manage this level of risk and choose for themselves on when they would like to hit the water with or without a spotter.

In addition to those stats, here are some other points to make with your legislators:

-Our collegiate ski teams report that they are at a competitive disadvantage and that they are constantly cancelling practice sessions due to the spotter requirement.

-A large percentage of the visitors who come to Wisconsin during the summer are parties of 2.  They are forced to find a stranger or break the law if they want to ski while on vacation in the show-ski capitol of the world.  How many simply choose to vacation in Minnesota, or other states?

-Some feel that allowing those who would actually utilize this bill, the diehard skiers/boarders/footers etc., may allow for a better time spacing of lake usage.  If I and a buddy can get out earlier to get the better water instead of waiting till spotter Joe wakes up, we may be off the lake before the busy period.

-The current law is unclear.  Law enforcement have different opinions on what is competent.  Many people currently fill this "competent" person with someone who just wants to be out in the sun and have some fun.  In many cases, the spotter is a distraction with conversation, engrossed in their phone, managing the music, drinking, etc.  I understand that by doing this they are no longer competent, but the law is not enforced to this level.  Some boat owners absolutely require that their spotters actually spot, but in my experience they are the exception.  

Honestly, driving without a spotter has made me a better driver.  Instead of relying upon a spotter to relay any falls or information, I am responsible.  It makes me pay better attention to their condition then before.  I know where the rope is, understand and feel their pull through the tower and know when they are cutting and what is happening.  

 

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7 hours ago, onwi said:

The law enforcement agents of Lake Geneva are pushing on their legislator, Tyler August to not pass this bill.  Tyler August is, unfortunately, the No 2 person in the Assembly.  This means he has the ear of Robin Vos, the speaker.  We believe that there would be sufficient votes or support to get passage for this republican sponsored bill in a republican leg. with a republican gov.  But, Robin Vos is the person who decides whether or not this bill, or others, get heard for the open vote.  I don't know what would happen if Tyler August really tried to push and get this stopped.

If we knew folks in their districts,RV Dist. TA Dist., then I would suggest strongly that they contact them to voice their support for the bill.  Unfortunately, I don't know anyone down there.  Closest I know is @DAI , but it's my understanding that he is between those two.

The other person pushing against this seems to be Cindi Duchow. CD Dist., from around Delafield.  There were people from her district at the meeting speaking in support of this bill.  Her family has been connected to boating for 30+ years and has a fishing/pontoon dealership in the area.  She seems to believe that watersports are dangerous.  If constituents who are willing to come and speak on behalf of the bill and she is still willing to register openly (at the meeting) her disapproval, then I doubt we are changing her mind.  That said, I'm still contacting people I know in her district to contact her and let her know we disagree.  Unfortunately, I'm currently away and really swamped with work.  

So, if anyone knows people in Lake Geneva/Delevan/East Troy (Tyler August), Union Grove/Sturtevant (Robin Vos), or North Lake/Okauchee/Delafield/Dousman/Wales (Cindi Duchow) please have them contact their legislators to simply voice their support and request that the bills move forward.  No need to argue with these people, but we need them to know their constituents feel that the bill should be supported.

Unfortunately being in Kenosha county (Salem) Kerkman is my assembly rep, and she supports the bill.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/21/2017 at 10:06 AM, onwi said:

The law enforcement agents of Lake Geneva are pushing on their legislator, Tyler August to not pass this bill.  Tyler August is, unfortunately, the No 2 person in the Assembly.  This means he has the ear of Robin Vos, the speaker.  We believe that there would be sufficient votes or support to get passage for this republican sponsored bill in a republican leg. with a republican gov.  But, Robin Vos is the person who decides whether or not this bill, or others, get heard for the open vote.  I don't know what would happen if Tyler August really tried to push and get this stopped.

If we knew folks in their districts,RV Dist. TA Dist., then I would suggest strongly that they contact them to voice their support for the bill.  Unfortunately, I don't know anyone down there.  Closest I know is @DAI , but it's my understanding that he is between those two.

The other person pushing against this seems to be Cindi Duchow. CD Dist., from around Delafield.  There were people from her district at the meeting speaking in support of this bill.  Her family has been connected to boating for 30+ years and has a fishing/pontoon dealership in the area.  She seems to believe that watersports are dangerous.  If constituents who are willing to come and speak on behalf of the bill and she is still willing to register openly (at the meeting) her disapproval, then I doubt we are changing her mind.  That said, I'm still contacting people I know in her district to contact her and let her know we disagree.  Unfortunately, I'm currently away and really swamped with work.  

So, if anyone knows people in Lake Geneva/Delevan/East Troy (Tyler August), Union Grove/Sturtevant (Robin Vos), or North Lake/Okauchee/Delafield/Dousman/Wales (Cindi Duchow) please have them contact their legislators to simply voice their support and request that the bills move forward.  No need to argue with these people, but we need them to know their constituents feel that the bill should be supported.

Just found out a show skier works for Voss and will be meeting with him tomorrow.

 

Edited by footndale
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Happy to report the bill has passed the Senate.  This happened last year as well, so nothing that hasn't happened before, but an important step none-the-less.  Looking for a potential mid to late May vote in Assembly committee and then an unknown timeline for the important vote on the Assembly floor.  Stay on your assembly rep to keep this on their radar.

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So many steps in politics, one at a time.  Keep up the good work! :thumbup:

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I have been in touch with the author's office.  They were originally telling me to expect a vote in the assembly committee in late May.  That has obviously come and gone.  As ksdaoski said, continue to contact your rep.  And please contact the committee chairs (Mursau and Krug) to request a vote to pass the bill out of committee.    

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Contacted my reps and the bill's author saying my wife and I will be vacationing in Minnesota in late August if this is not passed this summer.

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Dwight,

 

We are currently working on some changes to this bill to hopefully get it passed soon. It had some road blocks so we are working hard to get it done ASAP.

 

Mitch

 

----------------------------------

Mitch Sands

Research Assistant

Office of Representative Adam Jarchow

Assembly District 28

[email protected]

608.267.2366

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Tested the proposed rule this morning when the 3rd was a no show. Worked great and no accidents. :)

 

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Asked if we the people can help the process.

 

At this point, we are working with timing and schedules so there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do.

The only thing I would suggest is to reach out to your Representative and urge him/her to support the bill when it gets to the Assembly floor.

Thanks for asking and staying involved!

Mitch

 

 

 

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I was told they are adding an amendment to allow local government to add a spotter requirement when they determine it is necessary. This is all for lake Geneva and somewhat for Cindy Duchow in Waukesha county. I am concerned because many lake ordinances already state a spotter is required. Some, like nagawicka, describe what competent means in their eyes. 

My question is, will they need to reintroduce a new ordinance after passage of this law or will boaters need to get local government to change to reflect the new law?  I'll update when I find out more. 

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I also got a ticket yesterday around noon. Nice law enforcement officer, but not excited to get my pay to play invoice. 

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9 hours ago, onwi said:

I also got a ticket yesterday around noon. Nice law enforcement officer, but not excited to get my pay to play invoice. 

For not having a third?

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55 minutes ago, footndale said:

For not having a third?

Yeah, normally the on lake officer is in a very obvious boat.  This time the DNR pulled up in a Lund that looked like every other fishing boat. 

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10 hours ago, onwi said:

I was told they are adding an amendment to allow local government to add a spotter requirement when they determine it is necessary. This is all for lake Geneva and somewhat for Cindy Duchow in Waukesha county. I am concerned because many lake ordinances already state a spotter is required. Some, like nagawicka, describe what competent means in their eyes. 

My question is, will they need to reintroduce a new ordinance after passage of this law or will boaters need to get local government to change to reflect the new law?  I'll update when I find out more. 

With how busy Nag is, it wouldn't surprise me if it ends up needing a spotter at all times if the do-gooders get their way...

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32 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

With how busy Nag is, it wouldn't surprise me if it ends up needing a spotter at all times if the do-gooders get their way...

I got busted a few years ago on Nag for not having a spotter.  It was a Tuesday after Labor Day and we had a crew of four, but decided to send three show skiers out behind the boat backwards, which left us without a spotter.  The officer was nice enough to let us finish our act before busting us, but we were quite surprised to see him on a weekday that late in the season.  At the time the local police were running a pontoon as the cop boat, which it probably why we didn't see it earlier.  Officer: "What were you thinking"   My Crew: "Well, we were thinking you wouldn't be here".  

Thanks to the guys keeping this topic front and center.  I'll reach out to my local legislators to express my support for amending the spotter law.  

On a side note, my wife and I decided to implement a three strike rule.  If it means we get to ski more, we are willing to go without a spotter and will pay up to three tickets in a season.  After three we call it quits.  Last year and so far this year we've been ticket free while enjoying the additional time behind the boat.  

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On 6/15/2017 at 10:37 PM, onwi said:

I also got a ticket yesterday around noon. Nice law enforcement officer, but not excited to get my pay to play invoice. 

About how much was it? Trying to get the wife to do it.

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