""I would support any helmets, any type of safety equipment that could be put on. I think that it's something we need to look into and legislate...You may see in the next little while I may just bring it to the table." - Sandra Yeung Racco, a city councillor in Vaughan.
This is what you would call "attack of the busybodies."
We all love to meddle. Meddling is one of our favourite pastimes as a nation. We can't just leave people alone. We can't just let people experience the consequences of their actions.
Instead we prefer to treat everyone as stupid. And no doubt there are many people that are just that - stupid. But if you want to assume everyone is stupid... Well... That's what I call "arrogance."
Sorry, but I don't feel that the government needs to get involved in our lives when it comes to tobogganing. I think we're all smart enough to figure out how to slide down a hill without killing ourselves...
"Tobogganing caused 502 head injuries in Ontario between 2004 and 2005, according to the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre."
That's an average of 251 head injuries per year. Assuming all of those were fatalities, that works out to a fatality rate of about 1 in 46,000. 13,000 deaths happened in 2000 due to injuries. That accounts for 6% of the deaths in 2000. Assuming that remained nearly the same in 2004 and 2005, that would mean that fatalities due to tobaggon head injuries accounts for 2% of all injury related deaths. That works out to a probable 0.2% of all deaths in Canada.
That's hardly a number that screams "we have a problem."
I don't want to belittle the children that have died in tobogganing accidents. But do we really need more laws to tell people something that we should all be smart enough already to do? Maybe people don't know that their kids should be wearing helmets while tobogganing. Spreading the word is definitely in order.
But all I see here is another attempt to meddle in our lives. We don't always need to wear helmets I'm sure. And it should be left to our own discretion to make those decisions. Anything less negates the individual, and eliminates personal responsibility.
Negating the individual by passing legislation on tobogganing helmets would only further enforce the risk adverse society we already live in. Sometimes risks need to be taken. That's life. We take risks everyday we walk out of our homes and into the world. We can't escape it. We can't deny it.