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Old 06-03-2008   #1
rwhyman's Avatar
Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Posts: 961
PFD laws?

Should there be a law that requires always using a PFD?

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Old 06-03-2008   #2
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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Old 06-03-2008   #3
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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I agree, no law. Maybe just huge signs at all rivers showing statistics of all that have been taken by the particular river, too morbid?

Laws don't help if the people going down the river are unaware of them or don't care to follow them.
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Old 06-03-2008   #4
latenightjoneser's Avatar
steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 417
They should make getting in the river illegal.

Then we could all be outlaws!

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Old 06-03-2008   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 94

There's an old rule up in Alaska that everyone lives by. Regulate yourself or be regulated by nature. Making politicians who don't even know the intricacies of the things they are regulating makes for pains in the ass.

The reason there shouldn't be a law requiring you to wear your pdf is mostly because sometimes I just don't want to wear one and that is my choice. I don't need a ticket to teach me that I should have been wearing it. I know I should but I CHOOSE not to. That was my choice. I know people have died for not wearing their seat belt in the car and I wear mine 99% of the time. The 1% of the time I CHOOSE not to I don't need a ticket for it. If I crash and die well that sucks but then that is also the way life goes. A law allowing police to write me a ticket for the 1% of the time I choose not to is not to my advantage. Sometimes you just don't.

All you communists that think some jackass sitting in a chair needs to make my decisions for me need to rethink the effect that your bullshit has on the rest of us. Facts of life, people die for a lot of reasons. Laws or not these deaths still take place. If you're really worried about saving lives direct your efforts towards something that takes a high percentage of lives not something that takes a few a year. For example you could spend your time getting the government to allocate all those iraqi war dollars to educating our youth as to how to make smarter decisions, lowering drunk driving deaths. Perhaps lobbying to lower the drinking age so our population can learn to drink responsibly instead of running from the cops and partying every night on school nights...because you CAN.
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Old 06-03-2008   #6
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 263
here's the thing--making a PFD law would be a monumental waste of time, money, and resources to get it proposed, passed in the legislature, written into regulations/code--then enforcement becomes a pain in the ass encounter between boaters and johnny law--not to mentioned an additional unnecessary source of friction. Then the only people who will comply are the cognizant, aware boaters who would comply anyway, and the tubers/cut-off jeans, sneakers, mullet-headed crowd will flout the law anyway, and a percentage will still drown/need rescue just like now, so nothing will have been gained, and a huge effort and resources will have been wasted.

I believe education and awareness campaigns are the only way to get the idea across--people just want to have a good time on the river, but underestimate the river and pay for it with their lives. If people were as aware of the power of the river as boaters/rafters are, I don't think they would think it was so "uncool" to wear a PFD.

but what we don't need is another law, or amendment, or ballot intiative, or referendum, etc., ad nausea...

that's my opinion anyways, hardly even worth $0.02


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Old 06-03-2008   #7
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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Making a law that mandates wearing a PFD is like making a law mandating that people wear condoms. It might be safer, but sometimes it's just not as comfortable.
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Old 06-03-2008   #8
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

If I had my way, the only government regulations on rivers would involve environmental issues -- such as use of groovers and firepans. Much as I resist the proposition of more government intervention in our lives, preserving the resource for others would be the rationale. I've just seen too many beach-side scenes that reflected lack of consideration for the pristine nature of a place, or for the others who will be using it.

Specifically on the PFD thing, anyone who has been involved in drowning or river rescue incidents might be forgiven if they had ambiguous feelings. On the basis of personal freedom and my more libertarian side, I'd say no PFD requirement. But to the extent that human nature sort of nudges most people in the direction of helping someone in jeopardy -- prompting actions that can bring the intended rescuer into danger themself -- I'm inclined toward some minimum PFD requirement for whitewater rivers. But I confess, I'm conflicted.....


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Old 06-03-2008   #9
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I worked with the Pueblo city council to enact city laws to require pfd's in the whitewater park. Was it the right idea, I am not sure but the carnage that I saw down there the first year of the park that eventually led to a kid dying that it appeared to be the only option to get people to give the river some respect. The scene down there has gotten much better but I still see people without pfd's when the river is over 3k. In the end I am glad that I did it but not sure it will cure people's urge to jump in the river without thinking.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 06-03-2008   #10
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
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