Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Safety first

This past winter I took my daughter sledding on the hill in my local park.  The hill is a very dangerous place, prone to leaving little children in wheelchairs and without eyes.  I can tell this by the signs that have been up on the hill all winter and are still there today.

It must be that the hill is steep and forbidding, perhaps ending in a vertical drop onto a freeway or a raging, icy river.  There must be a history of destruction and mayhem here that must be put to an end.  The city and its people should unite in saving our small ones from the incredible dangers of this killer hill.

Here is the murderous beast in all its glory:

This 'killer' hill bottoms out onto a long, flat, grassy plain.  Even in the late winter under extremely icy, slippery conditions I pushed my daughter's sled as hard as I could from the top and there was no danger to her whatsoever.  Every nice winter day saw dozens of families sledding on this hill, throwing snowballs and building snowmen.  People brought big plastic sleds, tiny crazy carpets, wooden toboggans and 'bum pad with handle' sleds to the hill and had a blast.

This is a classic example of throwing public money out the window to prevent litigation.  I usually am someone who is against the excess of safety regulations that our society has seen fit to implement in recent years but this doesn't even have the excuse of being about safety - it is only about preventing lawsuits against the park.  I think it is a sad state of affairs that a park charged with promoting exercise, activity and the outdoors is forced into throwing money away on these ridiculous signs simply to prevent themselves from being sued.  Expecting personal responsibility is something we are moving further and further away from as a society and it is at the cost of ridiculous waste like this.

I do not hold with the level of safety and security often expected for children these days.  However, at least when a real effort is being made to improve safety there is a benefit to people involved even if it is not worth the monetary and other costs.  This sort of 'safety' expenditure has no excuse.

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