Friday, 2 August 2013

The 'Kill Bill'

The aunt of a man who died in a speedboat accident has welcomed a remarkable rise in numbers of people joining an online petition calling for tighter safety laws. Campaigners including Lady Alice Douglas, whose nephew Tristan Douglas-Johnson died at the Southampton Boat Show in 2000, this week called for key cords or kill switches to be obligatory so an out of control engine cuts out if a driver wearing one falls into the water. It follows a similar tragedy in Cornwall recently when a father and daughter died.

This possible change in law might mean that all boats would be required to have a kill switch installed. I can imagine the time when legislation is made. That in an attempt to simplify the legislation. It would be drafted in such a way that it would apply to boats with any kind of engine. Internal combustion, electrical powered, by whatever form of propulsion is used.

I can see it being a requirement to have such a device fitted to all powered boats on inland waterways within a few years. I can actually see how the device has certain other safety merits to recommend it. There are already many similar devices fitted to powered equipment. Motorcycles, skidoo's and high powered racing boats. Rather than operational difficulties, I think the main problem will be designing out accidental operation. Or if false or accidental operation and being able to reset the system quickly. 

1 comment:

  1. Trouble is that there are always ways of getting around these safety devices.

    Most outboard engines are already fitted with kill cords. Most owners choose not too use them.


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