Slow down! New speed guns to target reckless boaters on the Broads

Head ranger Adrian Vernon with new speed gun: Picture: Maurice Gray Head ranger Adrian Vernon with new speed gun: Picture: Maurice Gray

Friday, February 7, 2014
2:38 PM

New generation speed guns are being tested by Broads Authority (BA) rangers to target reckless boaters this season.

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They will be helped in their summer patrols by a new £84,000 launch built by Broom Boats of Brundall.

Their strategy will include five super safety days around the Broads to check speed and safety. The rangers will also be giving free safety checks and answer any queries.

Head ranger Adrian Vernon said they were mindful in their preparations for this summer that last year’s hot weather had seen an escalation in speeding and bad behaviour particularly among day boat hirers.

He said: “More than 7,000 verbal warnings were issued to boaters between April and October of which nearly 5,300 were for speeding.”

The rangers had also issued written warnings for more serious or repeated offences and reported more than 600 people for non-payment of tolls.

Twenty-nine offences on the waterways had led to court action with people having to pay fines and costs of up to £1,000.

One incident, which involved threatening behaviour as well as navigation offences, was dealt with in cooperation with Norfolk police.

The rangers have been testing two new models of speed gun - one laser and one radar - both of which are easier to handle.

Mr Vernon said: “These new guns are completely hand-held and don’t need a power supply so we don’t need a launch nearby to operate them. They are also smaller and lighter.

“We are looking at leasing or buying the guns to gradually replace our current kit.

“When checking a boat’s speed we take into account the amount of wash they are creating, its effect on other vessels and how the tide is affecting the boat.”

Their new 31ft fibreglass launch has been fitted with a new generation hybrid engine. It is to be named after the late Martin Broom who was a leading member of the BA for 30 years.

Are speeding boats a menace on the Broads? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • There are too many idiots that whizz up and down on the water. Bigger fines needed for these arrogant, weekend boatie numpties.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Friday, February 7, 2014

  • 4mph! Are you kidding yawn yawn no wonder no ones interested in taking to the water. Its BORING. Whats wrong with some speed in designated areas, it could bring new ineterest. Stuff the ducks lets get moving. What about speeding sail craft they dont really have a means to limit speed and they do as much damage as 500hp on plain.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Friday, February 7, 2014

  • a new boat? equipment to catch speeding boaters who's boats should not go faster than the required speed? Money well spent? enough to justify another 1.95% rise for PCCBett? No doubt his three personal media advisors will soon put us right, gosh, he must be busy that he can't use the Constabulary's media team.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, February 7, 2014

  • I agree there are too many speeding uncaring idiots on the water, its not just the weekenders or day boaters either. Speed limits are there to be adhered to for safety and environmental reasons. High boat wash levels are the result of ignorant speeders not caring what or who they upset or harm. Only doing 4 mph does not mean you are not having an effect on the river banks, I for one have been victim to verbal abuse when asking someone to slow down on the broads as their boat wash was visibly effecting moored boats and the river bank. Ignorantly being replied to, "I am only doing 4 mph", as well as the expletives! Vessel size and shape make a lot of difference. I hope the new equipment for the BA Rangers can put a better stop to some of these arrogant water users. Not to mention further income to support the navigation requirements for the Broads as a whole!

    Report this comment

    Northern Lad

    Friday, February 7, 2014

  • Well since cameras seem to monitor our every movement on land,why not on the water? Am I the only person who sees sinister motives in this? Britain has become a creepy surveillance obsessed state,with a camera for every 14 people! Do you agree with this,or do you believe if you do nothing wrong you have nothing to fear?

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • Can anyone say 1984? Big brother is indeed watching. My question is ho can you say reckless boaters? You can't be reckless if you don't go over 4mph.

    Report this comment

    margery

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • If anyone wants to do 4 mph re open the waterways in g Yarmouth.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • I agree there are too many speeding uncaring idiots on the water, its not just the weekenders or day boaters either. Speed limits are there to be adhered to for safety and environmental reasons. High boat wash levels are the result of ignorant speeders not caring what or who they upset or harm. Only doing 4 mph does not mean you are not having an effect on the river banks, I for one have been victim to verbal abuse when asking someone to slow down on the broads as their boat wash was visibly effecting moored boats and the river bank. Ignorantly being replied to, "I am only doing 4 mph", as well as the expletives! Vessel size and shape make a lot of difference. I hope the new equipment for the BA Rangers can put a better stop to some of these arrogant water users. Not to mention further income to support the navigation requirements for the Broads as a whole!

    Report this comment

    Northern Lad

    Friday, February 7, 2014

  • Can anyone say 1984? Big brother is indeed watching. My question is ho can you say reckless boaters? You can't be reckless if you don't go over 4mph.

    Report this comment

    margery

    Saturday, February 8, 2014

  • I agree there are too many speeding uncaring idiots on the water, its not just the weekenders or day boaters either. Speed limits are there to be adhered to for safety and environmental reasons. High boat wash levels are the result of ignorant speeders not caring what or who they upset or harm. Only doing 4 mph does not mean you are not having an effect on the river banks, I for one have been victim to verbal abuse when asking someone to slow down on the broads as their boat wash was visibly effecting moored boats and the river bank. Ignorantly being replied to, "I am only doing 4 mph", as well as the expletives! Vessel size and shape make a lot of difference. I hope the new equipment for the BA Rangers can put a better stop to some of these arrogant water users. Not to mention further income to support the navigation requirements for the Broads as a whole!

    Report this comment

    Northern Lad

    Friday, February 7, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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