Opinion

EDITORIAL: Safety starts with practise

There comes a time when good, old-fashioned common sense has to be the measuring stick in keeping us safe.

The Canadian Paediatric Society’s call on the provinces and territories to legislate helmet use and training courses for young operators of all-terrain vehicles makes good sense. Safety should always be foremost in everyone’s mind when on any type of vehicle – motoized or human-powered.

But calling for a national ban on anyone under 16-years-old from driving an ATV is heavy-handed.

It screams of bubble-wrap legislation – going to an extreme to protect us all from activities that have the potential to cause harm.

That harm, on occasion, will have serious or fatal results. But you cannot cocoon the world to keep it safe.

Richard Stanwick, society president and chief medical officer for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, said riding an ATV is a challenging undertaking even for an adult.

He said people are often injured getting on a vehicle for the first time and underestimating the skill required to operate it.

But a ban is not the answer. Does turning 16 suddenly make a young person capable of riding with skill? No,  that only comes with experience.

We have to trust young people learning to ride are doing so under the guidance of adults who demand they wear a helmet and other protective gear, that they are on a size-appropriate vehicle and ride a course or trail that complements their ability.

Introducing people to ATVs at an early age, and allowing them to learn properly, can reduce accidents.

It won’t prevent them all, but it’s better than the free-for-all that could occur when they turn of age and take the controls.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Nanaimo mayoral candidate: Bill Holdom
 
Labour consumes most new tax dollars cities collect
 
Fire departments respond to school fire
NDP Leadership Race: Farnworth drops out, endorses John Horgan
 
Video explores Early Childhood Education program at North Island College
 
ELECTION ISSUE: What to do with the Qualicum Beach old school bus garage
B.C. gets another taste of liquor reform
 
Chalk it up to honesty
 
Blasting causes headaches for Langford homeowners

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.