"compulsory basic training to ride a motorbike does not stop people riding and enjoying it..."
Well I can speak with some authority on this as I was in the motorcycle industry at the time and I sat on the government and industry committies that brought in CBT for motorcycles.
The cost was VERY high. Fortunately there was a national motorcycle training scheme (Star Rider) who had for about 15 years previously set up training centres all over the UK. There had to be a national standard set up for the CBT instructors. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) oversaw the scheme.
The bureaucracy was unbelievable. Forms, more forms, licences, examinations, monitoring, examination fees and THAT was just for the CBT instructors. Many small training schemes could not cope or afford to carry on. In the end even Star Rider went under leaving training to the more aggressively commercial companies. Training courses that were £12.00 rocketed up to several hundred pounds. Many people did not bother and went straight onto cars. We always suspected that this was the government's secret agenda.
None of this stopped people riding dangerously. None of this stopped dangerous car drivers killing motorcyclists. Fatal motorcycle accident figures did go down - there were less people riding motorcycles!
Just take a look at that idiot kid who has just passed your car on his scooter....he has done CBT, did it stop him? No.
Of course on motorcycles we have compulsory helmets for the rider and passenger. Motorcycles and indeed all road vehicle are covered by 'Type Approval', crash testing, MOT, driving licence, insurance, construction and use regulations, many road traffic acts, highway code, ROAD TAX! Need I say more?
Do you want this for boating? I don't.
I remember at one meeting I attended someone read out a letter in a newspaper from the parents of a young lad who was killed on a motorcycle. They said that motorcycling was dangerous and that it should be banned altogether. They also said that if a ban on motorcycling saved just one life then it was worth it.
Jerry ??? (can't remember his surname) who was at the time president of the British Motorcyclists Federation, said this was nonsense. He said that just about everything we did has danger attached and that the price of one life was worth the enjoyment of millions of people. Whatever we do somone will get killed doing it. I'm sure that someone must have been killed by being poked in the eye with a knitting needle! Shall we regulate knitting?
Having worked in an industry that suffered the imposition of more and more legislation I can tell you that I do not want to see boating going onto that particular sandbank.
I can tell you that when I was looking at getting my little boat if I was faced with:
Getting a licence
Registering the boat
Buying life jackets (okay so I did get those), gps, radio, radar and whatever else the government decided I needed
Doing a radio course
Booking and paying for a training course
Travelling to the coast for the course
Taking a written test
Taking a practical test
Updating my boating licence
Having an annual MOT style test on my boat
Paying an annual TAX on my boat
I would most probably not have bothered and I certainly could not have afforded to do so.
RIB Net would have one less member (okay so there is one advantage!)
Next question is - who the heck is going to 'police' these regulations? Coastguard, local council, Environment Agency, the police, the Royal Navy? Just imagine how many staff they would need, and just think of who would have to pay! Us.
Crikey, as a non commercial boater the sea is about the last perishing place I can go to escape all these blooming regulations and interference from government. I'd like to keep it that way.
Keith (it's a very slippery slope) Hart