Compulsory lifejackets for kids?

September 7th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Maungakiekie MP Sam Lotu-Iiga has introduced a member’s bill to Parliament that would make wearing a lifejacket compulsory for children up to 15 on boats 6 metres in length and under.

The proposal only relates to youngsters up to 15 but Mr Lotu-Iiga say he expects a select committee to examine whether it should be extended to all ages.

There are on average 17 recreational boating deaths a year.

I’m okay with it for kids, as they are more vulnerable, and well … kids. But far from convinced it should be extended to all adults. Having them on board yes – wearing at all times – no.

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44 Responses to “Compulsory lifejackets for kids?”

  1. duggledog (1,111 comments) says:

    ‘The proposal only relates to youngsters with irresponsible parents’ Just thought I’d fix that.

    I’m OK with it.

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  2. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    It’s the skippers’ responsibility not parliaments’.

    Responsible boaties being legislated for because of a stupid minority……..again.

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  3. thedavincimode (6,119 comments) says:

    This will certainly make it easier to locate the bodies when four 20 stone adults set out to sea in piss poor conditions with a couple of kids in a 10 foot dinghy with no oars, or flares and a 400 year old outboard that has never been maintained.

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  4. Sector 7g (229 comments) says:

    Politicians these days are like health and safety employees. Got fuck all to do so come up with dumb shit like this to justify their existence. Fuck off all of them. Stay out of our lives.

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  5. DylanReeve (179 comments) says:

    I will never understand the knee jerk opposition to proposals like this. It’s compulsory to have children in proper child restraints in cars, why should life jackets be any different?

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  6. Reid (15,531 comments) says:

    As usual the idiot journo’s don’t cover the critical facts. Which are, of the boating accident deaths, which of those involved boats that didn’t carry any or enough lifejackets, versus boats where there wasn’t time to put them on?

    Because the latter is the only statistic worth considering in this particular measure, and the article talks about a dinghy that capsized, but doesn’t mention whether it was even carrying lifejackets, which one suspects not, given that it’s a simple matter to cling onto the upturned hull and dive underneath to retrieve them.

    It’s compulsory to have children in proper child restraints in cars, why should life jackets be any different?

    Because, duh, boating accidents where lifejackets are useful normally don’t just happen in a split-second. They’re hardly ever high-speed crashes.

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  7. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “I will never understand the knee jerk opposition to proposals like this.”

    Well you fucking well should because it is exactly this kind of nanny state that undermines personal responsibility and individual independence, and therefore leads to a nation of ninnys.

    We do not need fucking regulations imposed by shit for brains MPs of no fucking worth to anyone, we need people to take responsibility for their own actions, and if parliament keeps undermining this need, its no benefit to anyone, kids least of all.

    Man I detest these do gooding self serving bastards, and the gormless socialist knuckle draggers who support them.

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  8. mandk (692 comments) says:

    @ Kowtow,
    You are quite right, there is a stupid minority of parents.
    But are you saying that kids have no right to be protected from stupid parents?
    If you are you could extend the argument to virtually any aspect of child care.

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  9. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    I accept the need to protect kids from stupid parents so a law for under 16s would be okay, but it should not be for all ages. Adults need to take personal responsibility.

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  10. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler put a good question to Sam Lotu-liga on his twitter feed. Paraphrasing, it was along the lines of: “will the child be required to wear the life jacket when climbing aboard the boat and moving to dive off the side into the water again.”

    “Danger, Will Robinson.” It would be very easy to effectively ban some perfectly normal and reasonable recreational pastimes – fun, in other words – through well intended legislation.

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  11. gazzmaniac (2,269 comments) says:

    I think it’s a good idea.
    I think a mandatory boat license would be better, then boaties will have a minimum standard of training and knowledge and be less likely to fuck up in the first place. And have it on the same card as the driving license so if a skipper is done for dic boat they lose the car licene too.
    Queensland has both of those and it works fairly well.

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  12. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    mandk

    No amount of legislation is going to protect children from stupid parents.

    And yes what we’re witnessing in the west is the extension of the state into virtually every aspect of family life.

    Has this legislative oversight improved the lives of vulnerable children ?

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  13. jcuk (505 comments) says:

    As a practicing seagoing boatie I support this measure as until further measures such as licensing all boaties and requiring them to attend classes and pass tests along with penalties for non compliance of simple safety rules we will continue to have the stupid events involving loss of life and countless hours of often volunteer search and rescue.

    The point is that boating is no longer a minority activity but all sorts of clowns engage in it and we have the reckless fools with mentalities like Redbaiter who do not bother to spend time learning how to be safe and practice it on the water. So some way of penalising them is needed.

    This would be a good first step. A parrellel good thing would be research into lifejackets that are not awkward lumps of flotation obstructing easy movement and catching in ropes rigging etc. While I always wore a lifejacket when using my dingy to get on my yacht it was only in extreme situations did I wear a jacket onbard her but always had a life line attached to the boat.

    I also went to polytech to get boatmaster, coastal and ocean going certificates.

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  14. PaulL (5,775 comments) says:

    As always, this law only applies to those who probably have their kids wear life jackets in all relevant situations anyway. And it probably accidentally catches a whole bunch of situations by accident, once again creating a situation where the law gets ignored and further reducing respect for the law overall.

    In short, I’m not sure we need a law for everything. Some things people can work out for themselves.

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  15. duggledog (1,111 comments) says:

    How the HELL do you police it? Has this SA PI MP got any idea how many thousand kilometres of coastline this country has? No.

    And gazz – so long as the boat licence is free to get and doesn’t come out of the consolidated fun then you have my support. I am not giving the bureaucracy any more of my fucking money.

    I would hazard a guess ‘it works well in QLD’ because the QLD cops are tough, with a tougher punishment system that is adhered to.

    Unlike NZ.

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  16. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “I would hazard a guess ‘it works well in QLD’”

    He’s talking shit. Such platitudes roll easily off the tongue of recently educated brainwashed statists who see bigger government as the solution to every problem, but if you asked him to validate it, he’d be stumped.

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  17. Jaffa (66 comments) says:

    Wearing a life jacket is not the same as a seatbelt in a car.

    Try driving a car with a lifejacket on and you will see the difference.

    In fact try doing anything in a lifejacket.

    The regular ones are bulky and hot in the sun, and the inflatable ones don’t always work.

    Should all the swimmers at Piha be wearing lifejackets? they are the ones drowning.

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  18. mandk (692 comments) says:

    Kowtow: “No amount of legislation is going to protect children from stupid parents”

    Not sure that is correct. Would school attendance be as great as it is, if schooling wasn’t compulsory? And what about child restraints in cars?

    The majority of parents will comply, if they were not already acting responsibly. I agree, though, that there are some parents who are so stupid or irresponsible that nothing will alter their behaviour.

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  19. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “we have the reckless fools with mentalities like Redbaiter who do not bother to spend time learning how to be safe and practice it on the water.”

    That is a an allegation you have no idea of the truth of and you make this smear merely to justify your own sick sad simpleton belief in regulation and big government enforcement as the solution to every perceived problem. A fucking uneducated ignorant of history dumbfuck dragging this country down into the socialist mire with every breath you take, you useless waste of oxygen.

    You socialist bastards need to wake up to just how much you’re pissing some people off with your limp dicked crap.

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  20. gazzmaniac (2,269 comments) says:

    fucking uneducated ignorant of history dumbfuck dragging this country down… useless waste of oxygen… limp dicked

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

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  21. mandk (692 comments) says:

    btw, as a tax payer, I also want to be protected from the consequences of avoidable boating tragedies. The cost to the public purse of cleaning up after accidents is huge – 111 services, hospitals, coronial inquests, people left dependent on lifelong benefits etc.

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  22. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “pot kettle black”

    Yes, you can write here with some stupid childish comeback but you can’t address your abjectly unsupported claim that “it works well”. That would require intelligence and resourcefulness. Much easier just to keep spouting distracted rubbish.

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  23. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    mandk

    Car restraints mandatory,school attendance likewise. Yes and look at the drop kicks of parents who don’t restrain or ensure their children attend school…..that’s my point, a responsible parent will do those without legislation and no amount of legislation will make irresponsible parents do the right thing.

    God knows the failing tail in this country is huge despite all the legislation.

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  24. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    The proposal by Sam (et al, because others are behind it), is bullshit.

    It is aimed almost exclusively at the Pasifika community, the lower socio economic group. This is the same group that fits second hand, often broken, child restraints in their cars, the same group that does not get a warrant of fitness for the car, or bother to re-register them, or get a driving licence. It is the same group that racks up $150 or $200 fines plus penalties for non-payment.
    (Confiscating or impounding cars creates more problems)

    Why?

    Because they (Pasifikas) have other priorities for their limited discretionary spending. I say “limited discretionary spending” because after they have sent money to the rellies still living on Pacific islands, paid outrageous tithes to their Pacific islands Church (of varying kind), supported, to some extent a plethora of unaffordable children, they have bugger all ,money left to buy things like child life jackets and car seats.

    No one can argue against the humane intent of the proposal. But obedience will be last in line. Moreover, if their multi-family savings to buy a “tinnie” have been expended, kid’s life jackets will be a nonstarter. It will otherwise be a case of going to the beach for a swim and search for shell fish…..with no reduction in drownings.

    Sad, but true.

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  25. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    Bah and humbug. I loathe ‘life jackets’ – on two occasions their bulk has nearly killed me when I would have been much safer without them.

    Once when a raft on a river collided with a submerged log and I found myself wedged by the jacket I was wearing underwater, another time when tossed into water while yachting and being unable to escape a toppling mast from falling on me.

    And on no other occasion have I found useful need for one.

    However… I was on the Wahine a week before it’s famous collision, and I imagine that had I been abandoning that sinking ship and possibly ended up for some time in those rough cold waters wearing a life jacket would have been a fine thing.

    It’s an odds thing, like most safety equipment, and the use of it a judgement call.

    Like cycling helmets I don’t think requiring them for youth is all bad because it engenders social cooperation to protect the vulnerable, but adults can presumably weigh risks and take responsibility for themselves.

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  26. Chuck Bird (4,406 comments) says:

    It sounds like a good idea, particularly for those with little experience boating or yachting.

    As has been pointed out some people like to dive in the water from a boat that is anchored.

    I would have no problem with skippers being heavily fined for not having adequate safety gear on board including enough life jackets. Skippers should also be liable for passengers particularly children not wearing life jackets when they obviously should due to weather conditions. I think Sam Lotu-Iiga should give more thought to the wording of his bill.

    Does anyone have a link to the proposed law?

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  27. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    chuck b

    If a skipper has little experience of boating or yachting then he has no business endangering the lives of others at sea or on any body of water.

    Get the experience first,then go to sea.If not competent don’t do it…….common sense.

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  28. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    It’s compulsory to have children in proper child restraints in cars, why should life jackets be any different?

    It’s not compulsory while the car is stopped.

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  29. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “common sense”

    Arrggghhh no we can’t have that.

    We’re socialists, and we’re CIVILISED.

    Every fucking move you make must be scrutinised by 15 layers of bureaucracy, and covered by 3000 pages of legislation and be covered by poorly written laws enforced by legions of half educated jack booted goons.

    Get up to speed Kowtow, you stuck in the past sad old individualist.

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  30. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    This proposal doesn’t go far enough. Lifejackets should also be required when children are at the beach, in or around rivers, swimming in swimming pools (where they should also be required to wear a helmet if they’re jumping off the side or off a board), being driven in any vehicle in the vicinity of water, and when in the bath. Remember, a child can drown in as little as an inch of water so a bath can be a death trap!

    (I had a conversation with a tourist at Wellington’s Taranaki Street Wharf dive platform last year. If you haven’t seen it, on a sunny day at the weekend it is complete unsupervised anarchy and possibly the most fun going on in the city. Tourist: “Who is in charge here?” DavidP: “No one.” Tourist: “Well someone could get killed.” DavidP: “They need to be careful then.” Long may personal responsibility and fun live!)

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  31. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    Yet another inane effort to legislate for a matter already well covered by existing law.

    I cannot believe a charge of neglect would not succeed against an idiot taking any passenger out unprotected by use of such a basic proven means.

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  32. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    Red

    It really is a killer.

    In CHch apparently if your house is a repair you can install a woodburner.Across the road if you’re a rebuild you can’t.Ecan regulations.

    It’s pissing folk off but the bureaucrats run the place and home owners have no say.It’s beyond me.

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  33. kowtow (6,701 comments) says:

    gravedodger

    Under what existing law would the neglect charge be laid?

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  34. Redbaiter (6,478 comments) says:

    “Graeme Edgeler put a good question to Sam Lotu-liga on his twitter feed.”

    It is useless trying to reason with these thick as pig shit socialist retards.

    We just have to get them out of our parliament and out of our lives.

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  35. Longknives (4,048 comments) says:

    Don’t most responsible people put lifejackets on their kids anyway??
    By ‘responsible’ I don’t mean the South Aucklanders who load up their leaky tin boats every weekend with four non-swimming adults, six non-swimming kids and a dog (who may or may not be able to swim)..

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  36. Concerned (34 comments) says:

    Davidp: Yes, beware the excesses that can flow from what were originally good intentions. Witness the cost, inconvenience, reduced amenity value, and pure illogicality generated by the pool fencing regime.

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  37. Chuck Bird (4,406 comments) says:

    @kowtow

    I meant it sounds like a good idea to those who have no experience and do not intend to own a boat.

    I would like to see his proposed law to see if it is practicable. It sounds like it is not as Graeme Edgeler pointed out.

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  38. Sector 7g (229 comments) says:

    I have changed my mind. Obviously not wearing a life jacket is as dangerous as speeding in a car. Lets go ahead and legislate that anyone caught disobeying this law will be fined and all this dangerous behaviour will come to an end. Or am I missing something?

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  39. ChloeHall (5 comments) says:

    I agree that this law has many positives, as all children under 15 should be wearing a life jacket on boats. However I also agree with duggledog this law would be hard to police. At the end of the day it comes down to common sense and what parents believe is the right thing to do and as Kowtow said enforcing a law like this isn’t necessarily going to change irresponsible parenting.

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  40. gazzmaniac (2,269 comments) says:

    It probably should be skipper’s call, but any kid on my boat would be required to wear a life jacket. Given that a skipper is (?should be) liable if something goes wrong, it could end up as de-facto law anyway.
    Licensing is a good idea.

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  41. Steve (North Shore) (4,321 comments) says:

    Compulsory straightjackets for mad Polititions, and a padded cell

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  42. Steve (North Shore) (4,321 comments) says:

    We need lifejacket police at EVERY boat ramp. Sign here to confirm you have enough on board + one spare for emrgency.
    That will be $10 thankyou – Visa, Eftpos or cash?
    Sir, you can not use the ramp until you sign and pay

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  43. jcuk (505 comments) says:

    gazzmaniac (1,739) Says: September 7th, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    The skipper of a boat IS responsible for what happens to others on/in the boat … why I normally went Solo.

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  44. jean hedges (1 comment) says:

    My Brother drowned when the boat he was sailing capsized. He was a good swimmwer but it was cold and he got cramp. He went under just before a rescuer got to him. If he had been wearing a life jacket he would have survived easily. He was 20. Lifejackets should be compulsory for EVERYONE. If you have ever lost anyone to drowning you would not think about disagreeing. Most posts here are arrogant and stupid written by people who have been lucky so far…….

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