Diving licences are nothing

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by mad, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. mad

    mad Barracuda

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    In Italy there are no national rules or laws giving a value to our licences. We have only local laws in some areas but I wonder if it's right. Nevertheless limits in these areas are different for different levels, of course.
    The problem is that if the police ask your licence you're not probably supposed to have nor expecially to show your computer, they can only officially ask your documents.
    These are different interpretation of things.

    In your counties is it different? maybe with common law, different from our civil law system you don't need a national law, do you?

    Ciao
     
  2. Tobagoman

    Tobagoman Scuba Instructor

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    The police have no right to ask to see our "papers" here in the states, although many of them try. They forget that this country is a "free republic" and not a totallitarian police state. As far as dive cards, it is not governed by any state or federal entity.
    Many people in the USA think we live in a Democracy and not a Republic, shame on them!!
     
  3. mad

    mad Barracuda

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    sorry, I didn't mean to enter a political feeling but I think it's the same permissions policemen have in Italy...
     
  4. DennisS

    DennisS Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
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    There are people in Florida that want to start a diver license program. If it passes police will be able to stop you and check your license to insure you are legal.
     
  5. RDP

    RDP Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SW of Indianapolis, IN
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    When I was in Florida the LDS held my card until I returned my rental tank.
     
  6. FreeFloat

    FreeFloat Humbolt Squid

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Somewhere in the waters of Lake Ontario or the St
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    Québec has implemented something like that. If you're caught diving in Québec you need to have a provincially-issued card now. Of course, any legal program is only as good as its enforcement.........
     
  7. DennisS

    DennisS Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
    4,110
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    They intend to use funds generated by the license for marine enforcement.

    Pay your money to the state so they can bother you on the ocean.
     
  8. DORSETBOY

    DORSETBOY Scuba Instructor

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    what form of marine enforcement? dont get me wrong I hate taxes and hate paying them but I accept there are very often good reasons. In the uk for freshwater fishing you have to have a rod licence which is for a minimal amount, something like £12 per year - this money is then invested in conversation work, pollution monitoring and control, water bailiffs to monitor this resource, etc - none of these are bad reasons.

    Is the only reason for them insisting on a licence for them to fund 'marine enforcement' what do they mean by this? Are there any other uses intended for any funds derived from the licence such as conservation?
     
  9. Boatlawyer

    Boatlawyer Nassau Grouper

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    In the U.S., the legal hierarchy is something like this:

    1. Treaties and Conventions (law controlling U.S. vis-a-vis other nations
    2. Federal Law (national law controlling its citizens and residents)
    3. State law (law of each state)
    4. County law (law of counties within each state)
    5. Municipal law (law of cities within each county)

    Those laws are divided into civil, criminal and quasi-criminal (ordinances and the like) matters.

    Our civil law is divided into statutory law and common law (judge-made).

    Our diving certifications are observed on sort of a common law basis, which means that the possession, or lack thereof, would likely only be relevant in a civil case to whether a defendant was acting prudently. For example if a dive shop filled tanks or a dive charter took on divers without checking C-cards and then someone got hurt, the failure to check the C-card would be used as an act of negligence to bring the shop/charter into the line of causation.

    Governmental bodies make laws under their "police powers" which exist to protect the public's health and welfare. They are reluctant to (and constitutionally prohibited from) make statutory law without a significant public health interest.

    For example if one person decides to tie helium balloons to a lawn chair in an attempt to fly (I did not make this up) and kills himself, it is unlikely the legislature would convene to draft a law against it. But if there was a trend and a good part of the public starting forming helium lawn chair flying clubs, resulting in death, injuries (increased insurance claims and hospital bills, reduction in the work force, and other social ills) then the government would likely act in the public interest, by either prohibiting or regulating the practice.

    Failing governmental action, risky activities are usually controlled by Darwin's theory (survival of the fittest and smartest) and by (you all are going to love this one) personal injury lawyers, whose cases establish common law standards of negligence and thus dictate standards of care.

    I would think that most divers, and related dive business prefer self policing as opposed to governmental regulation.

    But that's just my .02 psi.

    Theresa :dazzler1:
     
  10. simbrooks

    simbrooks Snr LayZboy Meteorologist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Orlando, Fl
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    Why dont boat owners have to have a license, or do they already have them, but it means nothing except they paid the fee, learned nothing and run over any kind of flag/buoy/person in the water that they see (or rather dont see) fit?
     
  11. lairdb

    lairdb Barracuda

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    You miss the point (in the U.S., at least.) Review Boatlawyer's message and filter for philosophy.

    The question under the U.S. system is "Why should boat owners have to have a licence? I.e. what compelling public interest exists that justifies enforcement at gunpoint?" (Make no mistake, when you invoke the government, that's what it comes down to in the end -- you are willing to use force to enforce compliance.)
     
  12. Buoyant1

    Buoyant1 Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hershey, PA
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    Personally, I don't see my certification being a "license" to Dive...If I want to do that I'll just take a resort course, pay a little extra and take a little time extra each time, and do my dives with a certified pro... I see getting my certification card as a means to KNOW what the heck I'm doing in order to keep myself (and others) safe.

    So far I think that the course is a "here's what to do in case you get into trouble so you don't KILL yourself" course.

    I'm sure that once I'm through, and certified I'll still be diving with people with experience for a long while until I feel comfortable to go with friends that are "casual recreational" divers. It's supposed to be fun, not dangerous (well unless you're into that sort of thing)
     
  13. DennisS

    DennisS Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
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    Most divers have a C card. This is not a certification. It is a license fee,

    Cop to diver getting out of water: Where's your license
    Diver: My what, here's my C card
    Cop: No your state of Florida Divers license-here's your $50 ticket

    There are people pushing to get divers licensed, they want the money it generates. No tests, just pay the fee.
     
  14. simbrooks

    simbrooks Snr LayZboy Meteorologist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Orlando, Fl
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    It was a tangent off the side of the whole license to dive theme, just saying that if divers are required to have a license to dive (even though they could really only kill themselves or a buddy), and drivers (using a large, fast moving projectile on the roads) have to have one, why dont recreational boat operators (i understand boat charters have to have them), as they are also fast moving, potentially lethal vehicles. Its seems weird to ask divers to have a license, but not boat owners, i know who is a greater risk to the general public - also who isnt trained to use such vehicles, just jump on and put it in gear.

    As for c-card being a license to dive, learners permit is a phrase i used a lot on here, its a bit of both, but it certainly doesnt mean you are a master at diving.
     
  15. CBulla

    CBulla ~..facebook conch..~ ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Come dive in South Florida and you'll never ask that question again.

    I think Boatlawyer answered the C-card question better than I could ever have hoped. What you'll find most in the US is shops looking for those certifications and covering their legal butts that you were "trained".
     
  16. Scubaguy62

    Scubaguy62 Son of Yemaya

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boca Raton, FL.
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    As my fellow conchdiver, CBulla, has so eloquently stated, come dive South Florida, then ask "Why should boat owners [should] have to have a licence?"

    The State of Florida makes no requirement of private boat owners to have any type of boat licensing or for that matter education (Sometimes I wonder if being able to read is also not a requirement, especially when you see, and hear about manatees being killed due to boat owners not "seeing" the sign "MANATEE ZONE IDDLE SPEED NO WAKE"). That's a recipe for disaster, and in many instances, has spelled disaster. Just ask Gloria Estefan. Unfortunately, the boating community in Florida has "superhuman" lobying powers in Tallahassee, which is something we, the SB diving community in So. Fla.(yes Colin, take the credit), are desperately trying to change.

    As far as willing to use force to enforce compliance, not necessarily. The use of force is only authorized in the face of threat of great bodily harm, or death. Enforcing compliance is more of a deterrent than a call for the use of force.
     
  17. miketsp

    miketsp Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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    Is there no third party insurance requirement for boats in S.Florida?
    In many countries the thing becomes self-policing because you need insurance.
    Then the insurers will charge more to non-qualified buyers as the risk is higher.
    So there is an incentive to get qualified.

    A similar thing happens here with car insurance. My son, as a young driver gets his car insurance loaded because of his age, but there is a significant reduction if he has completed a (one day) safe driving course in the last 2 years.
    So all drivers in this age group end up doing the course voluntarily.
     
  18. DennisS

    DennisS Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
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    There is a price reduction in boat insurance if you have taken a power squadron safety course.
    Insurance is not required but is strongly advised. Responsible people go this route.

    Insurance is required to drive an automobile but ignored by a large segment of the population in south Florida. My favorite is the cardboard placard with some numbers on it and the "lost tag" notation. Florida drivers licenses can be obtained by anyone.

    If anyone thinks having a boaters license will make diving safe, go bicycling in south florida and see how safe it is, with all those licensed drivers. It's a question of attitude, "They're in my road", "What are they doing this far out in "my boat lane".
     
  19. Scubaguy62

    Scubaguy62 Son of Yemaya

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boca Raton, FL.
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    It's a question of numbers though Dennis...there are far more drivers than there are boaters, yet, there are designated bicycle lanes in So. Fla.
     
  20. DennisS

    DennisS Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
    4,110
    442
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    It all comes down to attitude. A license will not change the moron that goes running 50 yards off the beach at 50 mph. It will not change the behaviour of the auto driver that sees how close he can get to the bicyclist when passing on the road. It won't change the loon that goes zipping in and out of 40 mph traffic at 60. A licensed loon is still a loon. If you take his license away he'll still run his boat, he just figures he won't get caught. A license will just inconvenience the rest of us.

    Besides that, its suicide for any politician to endorse one.

    This is the state that voted automobile inspections be eliminated.
     

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