LBI town seeks to adopt ‘no wake zone’ law for vehicles

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Birchler

Possibly the first of its kind in New Jersey, a Long Beach Island municipality is seeking to establish a “no wake zone” regulation for landlubbers.

Jersey Shore boaters are well aware of regulations that require slow passage through shallow zones near houses, but in Ship Bottom, motorists might soon need to adhere to the same rules to prevent wake, or a small wave, from flooding houses — an apparent problem for years.

In April, the Ship Bottom governing body introduced an ordinance, by title only, that will establish a system of signs that will educate motorists about slowing their speed to reduce or eliminate wake from entering homes, according to a The SandPaper report.

Police will also be empowered to enforce the ordinance, which is set for a vote on May 22. The potential penalties are not yet known.

Borough police say that there was an uptick in thrill-seeking visitors to the small borough during the consecutive March nor’easters that sped through inundation in flooded areas, according to the report.

While it might be an ordinance of first impression in New Jersey, it’s not the first in the United States.

In 2016, the Virginia legislature passed a law to permit municipalities to adopt ordinances that allow police to charge wake-generating motorists with a low-level misdemeanor.

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