A Long Beach Island municipality has adopted 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 will need to adhere to the same rules to prevent wake, or a small wave, from flooding houses — an apparent problem for years.
The ordinance, adopted by the borough council in late May, establishes a system of signs that will educate motorists about slowing their speed to reduce or eliminate wake from entering homes.
The regulation prohibits motorists from generating wake that travels beyond a street edge or curb line and permits police to enforce the regulation.
“It should do a lot to stop the cowboying in the flood zone. There is no reason for motorists to travel at 30 or 35 mph and send waves into someone’s home,” The SandPaper reported Mayor William Huelsenbeck as saying.
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.
While it might be unique 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.