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Victims, industry reps testify at State House over duck boat regulations

The proposed rules would require drivers not narrate tours themselves and the installation of surveillance cameras.

A pedestrian crosses a Boston street as a duck boat nears the intersection.

Derek Kouyoumjian, Metro

Loved ones of a young woman who was killed after being hit by anamphibious tour bus testified at the State House Thursday in favor of stronger regulations for the duck boat sightseeingindustry.

The proposal, first unveiled last month at the State House and sponsored by Belmont Democrat Sen. William Brownsberger, would require that duck boats be fitted with surveillance cameras and sensors that monitor blind spots.

It would also ban drivers from narrating tours of the city while operating a vehicle, meaning any sightseeing company would need to hire both a driver and tour guide for each trip.

Kevan Moniriwas on the motor scooter that collided with a duck boat and killed her friend,Allison Warmuth last May.

"We shouldn't have been in any danger," Moniri said. "The duck boat started to encroach on us as if we weren't there. She couldn't accelerate fast enough."

“One incident does not define an entire industry," Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston General Manager John Welby said.

He told lawmakers that such regulations might increase ticket prices by $10 to $15 and could increase costs “to the point we would lose business.”

Lynn Huston, a former conductor for Olde Town Trolley in Boston, said he favors the proposal proposal because of the unique dangers the vehicles pose on busy city streets.

"Regardless how safe you are as a driver, situations present themselves in Boston traffic that are beyond your control," Huston said.

-State House News Service contributed to this report.

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