The Boating Public
Would you give your car keys to a guy that does not have a driver’s license? You probably wouldn’t. Next question, would you give your boat keys to a guy that does not have a boaters license. Again if you did not know any better your answer would be no. “. On average, approximately 700 people die in recreational boating accidents each year. It is the belief of boating safety experts that requiring recreational boaters to have boating safety instruction could save numerous lives each year” (uscgboating, 2008). I am arguing in favor of mandatory licensing or boating safety class certificate in order to operate a boat.
Since boating safety and education requirements have been a hot topic, mainly since the early seventies, there has never been a federally mandated requirement for mandatory boater education in order to operate a vessel. According to the 1988 Boating Safety Manual, there were no states that mandated operator licensing or boater education. Since then 33 states now require some form of boater education. The only states that require licensing are Alabama, Connecticut, and New Jersey (Moore, Sarver, 2000). Although these states have stepped up and made licensing a requirement they are age restricted. For example, Alabama’s requirement is anyone born after 1954 is required to obtain a license to operate any type of boat in their waters. What they have done is affix a “V” designation to the normal driver’s license to prove the person has passed the approved test. Basically a 55 year old man can go out and buy a boat and put it in the water and drive away with no form of boating course or anything. I bet if that same 55 year old man went in to get a car drivers license he would have to pass a written and practical test before he gets a license.
Why is it that we require people to get a license to drive a car and not a boat? They both are powered by an engine. There are even more aspects about driving a boat that make it...