New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would toughen the penalties for leaving the scene of a boating accident.
The bill comes in response to crash on the Barnegat Bay in 2008 when a speedboat hit another vessel.
Bonnie Post’s husband was killed that day. She’s hoping increased penalties will be a deterrent.
“The man that hit us and left us to drown, he got a $25 fine and that was it,” she said Tuesday. “I’m not sure that’s any incentive for him to never do that again.”
Unlike a car crash that could be noticed by other motorists, Post says it can take a long time to get help on the water.
Current New Jersey law does not provide specific punishment for failing to report a boating accident.
The bill advanced by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee would make it a third-degree crime with up to five years in prison. Leaving an accident that resulted in death would be punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.