If you've rented a canoe or kayak in Michigan this year, that canoe or kayak was inspected by a government employee.  It's Michigan law.  A bill sent to Governor Rick Snyder this week would eliminate the need for inspections of rental canoes and kayaks.

Are fewer government inspections such as these a good idea?  Or will they have too negative of an effect on consumer safety?

WZZM has more on the bill:

The inspections typically are done by local sheriff's officers at a cost of $2 per vessel. There've been reports that some departments have been issuing the decals and pocketing the $2 without conducting an inspection.

The Michigan trade group the Association of Paddlesport Providers is in favor of dropping the inspections. The Department of Natural Resources was neutral on the bill.

This seems like an inspection most can do without.  Even without government inspections rental companies will continue to have great incentive to provide quality canoes and kayaks.  If they don't, they can expect to lose customers.

The bill doesn't necessarily mean that canoes and kayaks will no longer be independently inspected.  Renters can take responsibility for their own safety and inspect canoes and kayaks themselves.

Whether to continue or end government inspections of canoes and kayaks doesn't seem destined to become a major political topic.  It may seem like a minor issue, but the idea behind it is an important one.

Where should government inspections begin and where should they end?  What about home and automobile inspections?  What about allowing medical patients access to unapproved drugs and treatment?

When does an individual have both the right and the responsibility to take their safety into their own hands?