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Christie Signs Boat Accident Law

Law spurred by 2008 fatal boating accident in Brick.

Written by Daniel Nee (Editor)

Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday signed a bill that would increase penalties for leaving the scene of serious and fatal boating accidents as the widow of a man killed in a 2008 boating accident in Brick looked on. 

Bonnie Post, the wife of the late Robert Post, of Essex Fells and Point Pleasant Borough, had pushed for the law's passage following her husband's death at Gunner's Ditch - the area where Barnegat Bay and the Metedeconk River converge - in Aug. 2008.

In the case, a Brick man, Anthony DiGilio, then 29, was charged with operating his 27-foot Imperial performance boat recklessly and then speeding away from the scene of the accident. 

Police searched for the Imperial for more than a day before DiGilio came forward through an attorney, claiming he thought he had hit a log. 

Though he eventually faced vehicular homicide charges, DiGilio was found not guilty in April 2013. After the jury's verdict, interest in strengthening the "leaving the scene" law spiked and the bill – held up for years in the state legislature – began to move.

DiGilio did not face charges of leaving the scene of the accident since the maximum penalty was a fine of just $25. 

The new law brings the penalties for leaving the scene of a boating accident in line with the same penalties for leaving the scene as a car accident.

"Boating is about enjoying the summer and relaxing with your family and friends, but it also comes with a responsibility to the people you’re with and others on the water to be vigilant, responsible, and safe, and to help stop accidents from happening to begin with," said Christie, who signed the bill at the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau Station in Point Pleasant Borough. "This law will serve as another reminder to implement necessary practices to ensure the safety of everyone on the water.”

The bill had installed for years before the 2008 accident. Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean) first pushed for the law more than a decade ago when he was Ocean County prosecutor. He sponsored the bill signed into law Thursday, along with Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and Assembly members Dave Wolfe and Gregory P. McGuckin (both R-Ocean). 

Under the legislation, if the accident results in serious injury, leaving the scene would be considered a third degree crime punishable by three to five years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both. 

There are also increased penalties for failing to assist injured parties at the scene of the accident; a fine of between $200 and $400 and a potential 30 day jail term.
Martin B. Brilliant July 06, 2014 at 12:14 PM
You can depend on Christie (like most other politicians) to take the cheap way out. You don't prevent accidents by passing another law to raise the penalties. You prevent accidents by better training, better licensing tests and more patrols. But training, testing and patrolling cost money, year after year after year. Passing a law costs practically nothing and has almost the same effect on votes, but it doesn't have the same effect on safety.
Guess Who July 08, 2014 at 07:27 AM
You're correct , in this case it made a widow feel better since now there is punishment for hurting or killing someone and leaving the scene, plus our outta control tax us to death gooberment gets more revenue. if it weren't for the extra revenue, nothing would have been done
William July 06, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Not so Brilliant The past few years New Jersey has conducted Safety boating courses and required Every Boat Operator To pass a Coast Guard approved Course, By Licensed instructors.And Set Age limits, And Passing many new laws for Boating many parallel Regular Motor Vehicle Laws , And the penalties are attached to ones Car Drivers Licence, and against ones insurance, In so doing it Created a Bunch of people going around calling each other Captain. which never did improve Safety, As a matter of fact it made things worst, Hence The Governor saw fit to sponsor More laws. but Laws are only good when obeyed, The coast Guard and State Police can only do so much, They can Not fix stupid. Remember Captain spelled backwards is Niatpac !!!
William July 08, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Guess Who did Christy do all That ??? OMG I have been and saw the stupid questions Christy get from the public and Media I would last 2 Min. before i would blow up, Unlike obamanation who has a Pen and makes laws on his own. Against The Constitution of The United States. Christy has not but has vetoed many stupid Ideas presented to his office only to make him look like he is the bad guy when he does so. Speaking of ILLEGALS is it Now Christy,s fault That 1000s are pouring across the USA Boarders right now and disappearing into who knows where. with obmanation asking for BILLIONS to help them settle. It is Total Bull Shit that it is The Humanitarian thing to do. IF SO How About Haiti, Jamaica.China, Korea, Cuba, The many nations of Africa. The list is endless. that fall under the same thing. How about the many Millions right here in The United States of America. That are living under worse conditions then these so called Refuges from oppression. AKA ( ILLEGALS ) They Get Free Medical Care including Health Screenings- Dental- Eye- Care, Prescriptions -That Even The War Veterans of The United States are being refused By the VA. Now add Food stamps -Welfare - Job Assistance - Housing- Transportation - Legal Protection under our Constitution against Discrimination - And YOU are CONCERNED about them getting DRIVERS Licences Which can be added to the list along with insurances. Or they will drive with out them and not be held responsible, You had better stand back and look at the big picture. Think how Stupid The Average Person is, And the realize Half of Them are STUPIDER then that. Where do you FIT. Credits to GEO. Carlin for that bit.

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