Here is the statement issued by Easley's office today on the veto:
House Bill 2167, allows extremely large boats as wide as 9-1/2 feet to be towed on any state road at anytime, including night time, any day of the week, without a permit as required by all other states from Texas to Virginia. This bill would also allow a blood alcohol level of .08, double that allowed by commercial vehicles of smaller size.
I sincerely believe that this bill puts families at a risk on the highways and would result in death or serious injury. North Carolina has 60,000 miles of narrow two lane roads that cannot accommodate the 9-1/2 foot width and maintains roughly 1,000 bridges 18-feet wide or less, which would require a 9-1/2 foot boat to cross the center line in violation of N.C.G.S. 20-146, and into oncoming traffic. Further, if two 9-1/2 foot boats were to meet on an 18-foot strip of road or bridge it would be physically impossible to escape a collision.
I am deeply concerned about 9-1/2 foot boats meeting a school bus. The buses travel primarily on rural roads and often in the dark during early morning and early evening hours.
I encourage the General Assembly to let boat haulers use the current law of permitting for the rest of this season and then have the legislature take up this issue in January when there is time to thoughtfully avoid the consequences of this bill.
Therefore, I veto the bill.