Congress passed a bill dealing with cruise safety in 2010, and the measure was signed into law by President Obama. But the legislation, the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, focused mostly on passenger behavior. It required cruise lines to provide video surveillance and medical personnel on board to deal with the possibility of sexual assaults.
The law also required cruise ships to be fitted with peepholes in passenger's rooms and side rails that were at least 42 inches high.
The measure did not address the responsibilities of cruise ship captains when accidents occur. The captain of the Costa Concordia, which Italian officials said was carrying 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members when it crashed, is being prosecuted for allegedly abandoning the damaged ship.