Oak Park, Ill. – Despite efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the National Safe Boating Council to require the use of personal floatation devices on recreational boats, the Marine Retailers Association of America unanimously opposes the measure.
According to a press release issued this morning, the MRAA unanimously adopted a resolution at its November Board of Directors meeting in response to recent efforts advocating mandatory PFD useage.
Citing what it refers to as "the best available indicator of safety in recreational boats" —a record low fatality rate per 100,000 numbered boats — and what the organization predicts would cause an adverse impact on public perceptions and therefore boat sales, the MRAA said in its release: "Be it resolved that the Board of Directors … opposes a federal requirement that adults wear PFDs on recreational boats while underway,
"Any attempt to federally regulate the adult wearage of PFDs on recreational boats by length will adversely impact the public perceptions of those boats and the boating lifestyle causing sales to significantly drop and Americans to loose jobs and businesses to close," the release stated. And "any attempt to federally regulate a particular threshold, such a applying to boats less than 21 feet or 26 feet, will only cause the American public to purchase larger boats to escape the threshold thus increasing the congestion on smaller waterways.
The MRAA concluded its resolution by calling on the Coast Guard to "conduct a series of public hearings at key boating centers around the country … to better gauge the public opinion of recreational boaters on this issue."
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