Even though the United States has now jurisdiction in International waters, the new law which was just passed means any ship that enters U.S. ports must abide by the measures. And given the fact they all do, compliance will be quick and effective.
Some say the law does not go far enough, but it truly is a groundbreaking step in passenger protection.
What will the new law mean?
The law requires security video, peep holes on cruise ships and tries at least to standardize cruise ship safety. The new law now mandates crime reporting, requires aid for rape victims and forces all ships to have cabin peep holes and guard rails of a certain height.
Most cruise lines say they have most of these in place but it will force everyone to step in line and definitely be more vigilant in reporting crimes, as the law mandates as well.
Included in the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act that touch on safety design features as well as practices of reporting and dealing with allegations of crime, include:
• Requiring 42-inch guard rails and peep holes in the cabin doors of every passenger and crew member, on-deck video surveillance and an emergency sound system.
• Forcing ships to maintain a log book that records deaths, missing people and allegations of crime.
• Requiring rape kits, medications to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and a trained forensic sexual assault specialist to be aboard each ship.
• Mandating training of crew members in preventing and detecting crime, preserving evidence and reporting crimes in international waters.
Those that say the law should have gone further are right in suggesting it should have gone farther to require video cameras in hallways and deadbolts or chain locks on doors and to prohibit over-serving of alcohol.
It has been my observation that alcohol has played a major part in many of the on board crimes. Getting too friendly with staff during their off hours and domestic disputes that go awry are too much a part of the over consumtion of alcohol practise.