Iowa boating accidents hit 5-year low

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently released figures for the summer showing that accidents on the state’s public lakes and rivers were the lowest since 2007, according an article in the Des Moines Register. State officials attribute the drop in boating mishaps to increased education, added patrols and the economy.

Iowa lowered the blood-alcohol limit for operating a boat in 2011, from 0.10 to 0.8, and increased the number of patrols on the state’s lakes, especially on the Iowa Great Lakes, and those patrols stayed out later into the night to catch drunken boaters.

Iowa officials are also attributing the price of gas and the economy to the drop in boating accidents.

“We see a lot of people going at slow speed, with the bad economy” and high gas prices, said Phil Petersen, who works on safety issues at the Iowa Great Lakes.

Iowa recorded 36 accidents in 2011, down from as many as 54 in previous years. The number of boating injuries also fell, from 35 in 2009 down to 18 so far in 2011.

To read the full article, go to the Des Moines Register.

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