Jul 4, 2007

Jet Ski Mom wants them to slow down....

Mom policing the waters
Her son died in Jet Ski crash in Mill Basin

This from the New York Daily News.

Jo-Ann Zaccaria never wanted her 17-year-old son Paul to buy a Jet Ski.

But the college-bound Mill Basin teen still found a used one through a local dealer last summer - only to be killed days later in a high-profile water-scooter accident near his home on June 30.

A year after Paul's death, she is determined to protect other kids.

Together with local officials, Zaccaria is pushing for stepped-up enforcement and stricter laws regulating the high-speed water scooters popular in waterfront neighborhoods around Jamaica Bay, Pelham Bay and other areas.

Under state regulations, all water scooter drivers must take an approved eight-hour boating safety course, wear a life vest and, in most cases, be at least 14. But Zaccaria and local City Councilman Lew Fidler insist the laws are not always obeyed - and must go further.

Zaccaria's son, who had a black belt in karate, was not wearing a life jacket when he was rammed by a water scooter driven by Aristotle Plagianakos, then 16, also of Mill Basin. "He died instantly," said Zaccaria, adding that witnesses told her Plagianakos may have been going up to 70 mph when he slammed into Paul. "A life jacket wouldn't have saved him." In March, Plagianakos was charged with second-degree manslaughter - a first in the city for a boating incident, according to the Brooklyn district attorney's office. He also was charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.

Cops also said they stopped 146 water scooters last year and issued 87 summonses, nine for reckless operation, 25 for no safety certificate and 53 for no life vests and other equipment.

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