CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Boaters who drive fast on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee next summer will risk speeding tickets.

Gov. John Lynch signed a bill into law Monday that sets speed limits on the lake for two years. The speed limits will be 45 mph during the day and 25 mph at night, effective Jan. 1.

Boat speed limits have been debated for years. This plan differs from past plans because it applies only to Lake Winnipesaukee and would go off the books in two years.

Speed-limit supporters had argued two years would be plenty of time for a test. They said people are afraid to canoe or swim, especially on weekends when boat traffic is most congested.

Opponents said the limits are unnecessary. They pointed to a state Marine Patrol study last summer that found few boats exceeded the proposed limit. Out of 3,852 boats clocked by radar, only 83 were going faster than 45 mph.

They argued it made no sense to pass a law in hopes a small, inconsiderate group would change its habits.

Two years ago, the House passed a bill to impose limits on all lakes and rivers, but the Senate killed it.


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