Life Jacket Law Considered

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, June 2, 2008

The proposed ordinance comes just three weeks after an 11-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man drowned in separate incidents in the American River. 

"It just is something that grabs you by the throat every time you pick up the newspaper and someone else has drowned." 

County Supervisor Roger Dickinson is introducing the measure. For the past five years, the county’s “Kids Don’t Float” campaign has encouraged parents to put life vests on their kids. Dickinson says more needs to be done. 

"I think this is one of those things, like bike helmet laws, like seat belt laws, where when people know it’s the law, they will voluntarily comply." 

Sacramento city officials are eyeing a similar ordinance. Councilman Kevin McCarty points out that in the past year there have been a total of eight drownings. 

"Every year there are deaths on this river and they’re needless and if we save one or two lives this summer then it’s worth it." 

The maximum penalty under the ordinance would be a fine of $500 or six months in jail…or both.