It is an interesting dichotomy between wanting government
assistance and not wanting rules. I personally fall right square in the middle of it. I think seat belt are a good thing, but don't want to be fined for my own good for not wearing one. Yet it does incure additional expense for society to pay someone to be on disability the rest of their life if they go through a windshield.
Tha same with boating
it costs the coast guard more money
to dredge to recover a body plus countless manhours searching, compared to getting a rope
and picking up a live person in a life jacket.
If those costs could be assigned to those who incure the risk without effecting the rest of us, that would be great. Practically speaking though the ones least likely to wear protective gear
are also the ones least likely to be able to pay the consequences.
Even though life jackets have been required to be aboard every regulated vessel for years, only a small percentage of people actually use them. Statistics show most of those who drowned weren't wearing one.
If the regulation read, life jacket required if not in inland waters, or if in a powered vessel of any size, that would fit common sense. As pointed out before a kayaker usually wears one, but a racing
skiff does not. If I was kayaking in a 4 foot deep 1 acre lake, I wouldn't wear one either, but if I was clogging a busy shipping
channel with my kayak