Last week, the Alabama Senate passed a bill that would prohibit wake surfing in a public body of water that’s less than 50 acres in size, in any portion of public water where the width of the portion is less than 400 feet and within 200 feet of a shoreline, dock, pier, boathouse or any other structure.
Senate Bill 281 is sponsored by State Sens. Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman) and Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) and is being carried in the House by Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg). The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 26-0 with nine abstentions. It also passed the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee with one amendment. The full language of the bill can be found here.
Friday on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Shaver explained why the wake surfing ban was necessary.
“There’s been a lot of public outcry about the issues concerning wake boats and wake surfers due to the damage that the wakes cause to lake property, just the nuisance they cause by people who are not considerate of others,” she said.
Shaver also gave more details about where legislators have been hearing complaints.
“About a year or so ago there was a public meeting and over 200 people from that area attended with concerns about these issues, so it’s not just a one-person problem,” she said.
The lawmaker also defended the amendment to the bill that would limit the ban to only lakes created by damming or river.
“Passing legislation is a compromise situation,” she protested. “If some things can get passed, some things can’t and sometimes compromises are made to get what you can get.”
Shaver went on to explain why the bill was crafted in a specific way.
“The proximity and the areas closest to the shoreline, that’s where the damage is going to happen, and so that’s why the proximity is the measure,” she explained.