- Report Published -
|Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries|
|HJR 60 (Regular Session, 1986)|
|This study involved the following procedures:|
A detailed analysis of boating accidents over the most recent two year period.
A survey of a segment of Virginia's recreational boaters to determine their perception of safety and the quality of the boating experience on our waters.
Four meetings of a study committee which included representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Aerial observations of high density boating areas on holidays.
A survey to determine the extent to which alcohol contributes to boating accidents.
The analysis of boating accidents involved a review of each accident investigation over the past two years to attempt to discover the causes of the majority of them with a view towards arriving at recommendations that could curtail accidents in the future. This review also included a comparison of fatalities occurring in the adjacent states of Maryland and North Carolina over the past five years.
A total of 10,000 boaters were selected to receive a questionnaire which was designed by the study committee. One thousand were sent to each of the high boating density regions of the state and the remaining 2,000 were sent to boaters selected at random. The questionnaire was designed to determine the boater's perception of the safety level and the quality of the boating experience on our waters, as well as his perceptions concerning problems involving alcohol and the availability of boating safety information.
Four meetings of the study committee were held between March and September of 1986. The committee openly discussed problems encountered statewide and assisted in the analysis of data collected. The conclusions offered are the result of findings by this committee. The committee also addressed the issue of operator licensing.
Three aerial surveys were flown over high density boating areas during the summer, including the Fourth of July. Although the numbers of boats registered in given areas throughout the state are known, the surveys were flown to obtain actual data as to the number of boats on the water during these peak use periods. These data were compared to the number of boating accidents that occurred on summer holidays.
During the months of June and July game wardens recorded the number of boats they inspected that had alcohol aboard. In addition, accident records were reviewed to determine the number of fatalities in which alcohol was a factor.