This morning, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill to prohibit floating vessels from operating, anchoring or mooring in the navigable waters of New York State, including the Hudson River, while operating a billboard that uses flashing, intermittent or moving lights.The legislation, (S6541-A/A8290-B), was sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and me.
Billboards belong in Times Square, not in the middle of the Hudson or East Rivers. Vessels that feature electronic ads pose a dangerous distraction to boaters and drivers, not to mention an eyesore.As I wrote in a letter to the Governor urging him to sign the legislation, "vessels operating in the navigable waters of the state that are equipped with digital billboards are an unsightly potential public nuisance and public safety hazard.They can be distracting to boaters and mar the otherwise beautiful environment of our local waterways with unwanted advertisements."
The bill expressly empowers local governments to restrict or prohibit the use of any outdoor advertising signage on vessels within 1,500 feet from shore. Violators of the law would be subject to a $1,000 civil penalty for the first offense and $5,000 for subsequent violations.
Whether sailing on the Hudson or relaxing in a park along the water, New Yorkers enjoying our natural surroundings don't want to be forced to look at flashing billboard advertisements.I am proud to have worked with Senator Hoylman, our colleagues in the Legislature, and the Governor to prohibit boats from operating these offensive and unsightly billboards.