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Proposed Change to Boating Laws in Illinois

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boating accident, Illinois accident lawyer, boating accident, Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois lawsThe arrival of spring means that summer is just around the corner. The warm weather will undoubtedly urge many people out of their homes and into local waterways to enjoy activities such as boating, waterskiing, tubing, and the like. While summer sports are fun, they can also be dangerous. Boating accidents do occur, and can have fatal outcomes. In order to curb fatalities associated with boating accidents, a state representative from Illinois is advocating a new law for boaters to follow.

The Proposal

State Representative JoAnn Osmond, a Republican from Antioch, has proposed a plan to state lawmakers that is meant to protect water skiers and tubers who have fallen into the water. According to an article recently published, the plan would require boaters who were towing a water skier or tuber to raise a flag if the person trailing behind the boat had fallen into the water. The flag would signal a warning to other boaters to be aware of the situation and watch for the person in the water.

A Past Accident Inspired the Plan

Osmond said the goal of the proposal is to create awareness of the person in the water, and to make others aware that the person is down and not necessarily readily visible. The plan originated after the death of a 10-year old-boy two years ago. The boy was hit by a passing boat after he had fallen off of his tube and into the water. The plan was approved unanimously by the House committee and will be further debated on the House floor.

Other Changes

Another proposed state law that some believe is related to the same boating accident came from State Senators Terry Link, a Democrat from Waukegan, and Julie Morrison, a Democrat from Deerfield. They want to eliminate the Fox Waterway Agency, which is responsible for managing the Chain O'Lakes and Fox River in Lake and McHenry counties. Instead, they propose to have the state agency, which is responsible for managing all Illinois waterways, replace the Fox agency, something the state may not be behind either.

The senators say the idea will cut down on government redundancy and can potentially save taxpayer money. Some believe, however, that the idea is an attempt to punish Chain O'Lakes boating community for the accident that killed the 10-year-old child, who was Morrison's nephew. While the true intention of the senators may be up for debate, the positive effects the change may have can also be argued to bolster the idea's credibility. No decision based on the idea has been made yet.

Accident Attorneys in Illinois

It is likely that at least some changes will take effect that will affect boaters' responsibilities. Despite changes aimed at making the recreational captivity safer, accidents may still happen. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a boating accident in Illinois, contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC and schedule a consultation to speak with an experienced attorney. We have successful experience representing those injured in accidents, and we can help you, too.
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