N.C. boat towing veto overturned

RALEIGH – In a victory for the boating industry, N.C. Gov. Mike Easley’s veto of a bill that allows boats and boat trailers between 8 1/2 feet and 10 feet wide to travel on state roads without a special permit and flags, as currently required, was overturned in the House and Senate by an overwhelming majority on Wednesday morning, according to an article today in the Washington Daily News.

Easley said he vetoed the bill because of concerns over highway safety, according to the newspaper, a concern shared by the state’s Highway Patrol.

The bill’s supporters argued that such boats had been safely towed by boaters on the state’s highways safely for many years, despite the regulations, and expressed concern that the veto would hurt the state’s boating industry, the newspaper reported. The number of boat builders and suppliers in North Carolina has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years.

To represent the interests of those manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association hired lobbyists Joe McClees and Henri McClees, who sent the message that allowing larger boats to be towed on state roads will boost boat sales, the newspaper article suggested.

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