Should All Boaters Wear PFD’s?

June 16, 2008

Most states require that children wear personal flotation devices (PFD’s) on boats that are smaller than 21′ long. Should all passengers wear PFD’s, regardless of age? Statistics indicate that most drownings happen to adult men over the age of 36, while drownings for children are comparably much lower, presumably because they are required by law to wear live vests and thus have a much higher wear-rate. Washington State recently required that all boaters complete a boating safety course before going on the water. They even have to carry a card that attests to their completion of such a course. Are efforts like these necessary to reduce boating fatalities, or are governments taking this too far when it comes to regulating boating?

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One Response to “Should All Boaters Wear PFD’s?”

  1. Gator said

    I don’t think all boaters should be required to wear life preservers but they should be readily handy. As adults, it should be our decision as far as risk taking and the government should not interfere. The argument goes that it cost taxpayer money so the government should protect us from ourselves. This is an envasion of freedom. Otherwise, let’s stop people from sky diving or scuba diving, or anything else that might cause death or harm.

    As far as children go, I definitely think they should be protected against irresponsible adults.


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