Life-Jacket Bill Clears Assembly

<i> Associated Press</i>

A bill requiring children to wear life jackets on small boats is on its way to the governor’s desk.

The Assembly voted 45-32 Monday in favor of the bill by Assemblywoman Jackie Speier (D-Burlingame).

The bill would make it illegal to operate a boat less than 26 feet long unless any children under the age of 6 are wearing personal flotation devices. A child in an enclosed cabin or restrained by a sailboat harness would not be required to wear a life jacket.

“This is another Big Nanny attempt by the government to tell people what to do,” complained Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach).


Assemblyman David Knowles (R-Cameron Park) said the bill is not needed because only about two children not wearing life jackets fall off boats and drown each year.

Responded Speier: “How many children need to die to make this bill worthwhile to you?”