Weekly 5: State legislatures take action on boating


Legislatures take action on boating and boaters, law enforcement teams up on Operation Dry Water, and the latest numbers on tablet ownership.

Christopher Gerber (CGerber@BoatingIndustry.com)
June 25, 2013
Filed under Top Stories, Weekly 5

The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.

1. State legislatures take action on boating

With many state legislatures getting ready to head out on a summer recess, several states are passing or debating new laws affecting the industry.

  • In California, the state Assembly is considering a law the expands the definition of a watercraft to include anything “capable of being used as a means of transportation on water” and require use of a personal flotation device by any passenger under 13. The bill has been passed by the state Senate
  • A bill requiring all New York state boaters to take a safety course failed, but anyone born on or after May 1, 1996, will have to get a boating safety certificate in order to operate a boat unsupervised.
  • New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill that would toughen the penalties for boaters that flee the scene of an accident.
  • In Connecticut, the governor has signed a new tax package that eliminates the state’s luxury tax on boats.
  • New training requirements take effect in Virginia this week, requiring anyone under 40 to take a boating safety course before operating a boat.

2. Operation Dry Water this weekend

Operation Dry Water, a cooperative effort by law enforcement agencies across the country aimed at increasing awareness of the danger of boating under the influence, will be June 28-30.

According to event organizers, in 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in 8 percent of boating accidents overall, and figured in 17 percent of boating fatalities.

In 2012, 51 states and U.S. territories participated in Operation Dry Water. More than 4,500 officers from 505 local, state, and federal agencies participated in 72 hours of heightened BUI enforcement. Officers were able to remove 337 BUI operators from the water while issuing an additional 14,514 boating safety citations and warnings.

3. New report says a third of American adults own tablets

Drawing even more attention to the fact that business owners can’t ignore mobile when planning their websites and marketing, a new study from the Pew Research Center shows that 34 percent of American adults now own a tablet computer.

That’s up from 18 percent a year ago and 8 percent in 2011.

Some key demographics about tablet owners:

  • Women (35 percent) are slightly more likely than men (32 percent to own a tablet)
  • The most common age group was those 35 to 44 – 49 percent of them own tablets
  • Forty-nine percent of college grads own a tablet, compared to 26 percent of high school graduates
  • In households with income of more than $75,000, 56 percent own a tablet
  • Half of parents with children living at home own a tablet; only 27 percent of those with no kids or no kids at home do

4. Ping-pong tables and perks won’t make your employees like you

Americans hate their jobs – and trying to bribe them with perks like you’re Google or some other tech company probably won’t make a difference, says a new Gallup study.

In the new poll, only 30 percent of employees said they are engaged and inspired by their jobs. About half of employees are simply cruising on auto-pilot and another 18 percent are actively disengaged.

According to the study’s authors, while high-profile companies get buzz with fun perks, the key to keeping employees happy is culture that rewards success and encourages collaboration.

5. Using contests in social media marketing

Running a contest can be a good way to garner some social media buzz. The Intuit Small Business Blog offers some advice on making sure you use contests to their full advantage for your business.


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