For more information, contact:
Lake Havasu Marine Association, Executive Director, Jim Salscheider
(928) 208-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lake Havasu City, AZ: Traditionally, the Fourth of July holiday is one of Lake Havasu's busiest boater weekends of the year. And because of increased on-the-water traffic, boating related accidents tend to rise accordingly.
This most recent Independence Day, however, proved to be an exception to that rule according to local lake patrol law enforcement agencies. "It was a very, very good and safe Fourth of July weekend on the water," commented Lt. Richie Sloma of the Lake Havasu City Police Department. "The overall number of arrests was comparable to a normal, regular, non-holiday weekend. Reports from on-duty boating officers indicated that a majority of people chose and utilized designated operators."
"This is exactly what we had hoped to accomplish with our Carry a Designated Operator safety campaign," said Jim Salscheider, executive director, Lake Havasu Marine Association. "Persuading the boating public to voluntarily adopt the Designated Operator concept so there's always a sober driver at the helm is much better than enacting new laws and restrictions that punish boaters. We're not advocating taking the fun and enjoyment out of boating, only to make sure that it is done in a safe, sober and responsible way. It certainly appears that boaters are getting the message which is making our waterways safer and more enjoyable for everyone."
Sgt. Tim Smith, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, echoed those sentiments, stating, "Overall, it was a pretty quiet weekend for law enforcement." Smith's office reported no injury related boating accidents over the July Fourth holiday weekend. The Lake Havasu City Police Department recorded only four 'operating under the influence' (OUI) arrests during the same time period.
"We're off to a good start this summer," remarked Salscheider. "Our Designated Operator campaign continues through this fall which will give us enough data to make a thorough evaluation of the program and prepare for 2012. We're hopeful that other popular boating areas around the country will join us and adopt this campaign for the coming year."
The Lake Havasu "Carry a Designated Operator" campaign is co-sponsored by Romer Beverage Company of Lake Havasu and Teague Custom Marine, Valencia, California. Supporting agencies and associations include: Arizona Game and Fish, Arizona State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, LakeRacer LLC/Desert Storm, Southern California Marine Association, London Bridge Yacht Club, Mohave County Sheriffs, Lake Havasu City Police, and San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department. Participating restaurants/bars include Pirate Cove Resort, Havasu Springs Resort, Turtle Grille/Nautical Beachfront Resort and Topock 66. "Carry a designated operator" was founded by the Lake Havasu Marine Association and is responsible for its implementation. More information about Designated Operator is available at www.lhcma.com.
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