A group of local residents is working on applying for a speed restriction on a section of Wasa Lake. Google Streetview screenshot.

A group of local residents is working on applying for a speed restriction on a section of Wasa Lake. Google Streetview screenshot.

Safety advocates pushing for speed limit on section of Wasa Lake

Group looking to apply for 10 km/h limit around North Bay area of Wasa Lake

The process of implementing a boat speed limit on a section of Wasa Lake took another step on Friday at a Regional District of East Kootenay board meeting.

Following presentations from local safety advocates, the board voted to refer the issue to the next strategic priority-setting process in order to get the ball rolling on a Vessel Operation Restriction Regulation (VORR) application to the federal government.

Safety advocates are proposing that boat speeds in the North Bay section of Wasa Lake be reduced to 10 k/hr. That part of the lake includes the main Wasa Lake beach and public swimming area, which is also used for kayaking and paddleboarding.

The group says there are safety concerns with up to 25 motorboats on the 1.1 square-kilometre lake on a busy summer day.

A formal VORR application to Transport Canada is a lengthy process that must include information on sources and causes of the problem, exploring and testing non-regulatory solutions to the problem, public consultations and summary of regulatory impacts.

The VORR application must be submitted by a local authority, such as a municipality or regional district.

A survey conducted by the group last year found 73 per cent support for a speed limit in the North Bay area, out of 465 respondents.