I'm not convinced making lifejackets or any kind of pfd compulsory will make any difference. Personally, I have one for myself, and a rope, as well as a fully charged cellphone on every trip.
We are required to install smoke alarms in new homes, but the number of homes I go to where the unit has been removed because the battery was beeping is crazy.
Safety is more a sense of awareness. So many people go out and neglect their own and other people's safety in so many ways.
I'm also a contractor, and we are so over Governed by rules its crazy. In some instances we even have to wear a hard hat to change a light bulb. Failure to do so can be deemed serious misconduct, and result in dismissal.
The point really is to simply be aware of what is going on around you. If it looks like its to rough or the forecast is marginal, don't go. In the situations where its an unforeseen accident then personal safety and awareness has to come into affect.
Should it be a choice? Maybe. Any sensible person will wear them either way if they value their own life and those that they love.
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