High Water Speed Limit Proposed

State Representative Gary Eisen, who represents the 81st District covering much of St. Clair County, introduced a bill in January that would allow the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or county sheriff to set temporary motorboat speed limits during high water conditions and to establish fines for violations. Currently under existing legislation, the DNR establishes boating speed limits for Michigan waters. Any area of water that does not have a speed limit established by the DNR has a default speed limit of 55 miles per hour. 

The bill has been moving through approvals and is being supported heavily by Clay Township Supervisor Artie Bryson who sees the direct impact of the rising water levels on St. Clair County’s southern end. Bryson, now, is asking for the community to speak up to make the bill pass in an effective manner. In a recent public post on Facebook, Bryson said he is “Calling on no-wake warriors.” 

The most recent changes that happened to House Bill 5401 after leaving the House Ways and Means Committee, Bryson feels, need to be changed to be effective, before it is voted on next week.

In the current form, Bryson points out that the bill has date restrictions, renewal restrictions and more that could prevent real changes for St. Clair County residents. The bill can be read at legislature.mi.gov by searching Bill 5401. Bryson is encouraging residents to contact representatives on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources to express concerns about the current format.

Reporting for WGRT, Karly Hurley.