Opinion

RADIA: Take the risk and pay the price

FACE TO FACE: Should out-of-bounds skiers and boarders pay for their rescue?

Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Growing up, I was taught that when you do something wrong, you have to suffer the consequences. If you spill something, you clean it up. If you cheat on a test, you get a zero. And if you get caught jaywalking or speeding in your car, you pay a fine.

That’s the way the world should be: do the crime, do the time.

Unfortunately, to the chagrin of many, those who break the rules — skiers and snowboarders who go out of bounds into remote areas and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars for dangerous rescue efforts — face no consequences at all. In fact, it seems, they get off scot-free.

Every year, we hear a score of stories about a daring but perhaps not-so-bright snowboarder, skier or a hiker going into remote areas and eliciting a full-scale search. The costs of the rescue are often borne by municipal and provincial governments. It has been reported that a 12-hour search can cost between $1,500 and $2,000. If a helicopter is called in, the cost can skyrocket to about a $1,000 per hour.

Rescue groups around the Lower Mainland — such as our very own Coquitlam Search and Rescue — argue that imposing fines could result in people evading rescue and not calling authorities for help.

I know that this might sound harsh but that’s the choice of the lost individual.

I would think meaningful fines would serve as a deterrent for individuals who consciously make bad decisions about going into remote areas.

Besides, it shouldn’t be the rescue organization’s call on where their funding comes from — it should be the taxpayers’ decision.

Certainly, we also have to put the onus on the operators of ski hills to ensure there are clear postings about out-of-bounds areas.

There should also be visible warning made to skiers and snowboarders that they will be responsible for the cost of their rescue if they go out of bounds.

Simply put, if you break the rules and/or partake in risky activities in remote areas, man-up and pay your own rescue bills.

It’s called being responsible.

Andy Radia is a Coquitlam resident and political columnist who writes for Yahoo! Canada News and Vancouver View Magazine. He has been politically active in the Tri-Cities, having been involved with election campaigns at all three levels of government, including running for Coquitlam city council in 2005.

 

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 ...

District seeks input on proposed highway move
 
TWU president goes coast to coast for Parkinson’s research
 
Photo: Second annual powwow a riot of colour
Neon dream
 
Pumpkin pile
 
Chilliwack firefighters donate Thanksgiving dinners
Seaquam Spin-a-thon raising funds, seeking sponsors
 
Remembering the sailors
 
HYACK FESTIVAL 2011: May Day on Wednesday, May 25

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

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

Oct 1 edition online now. Browse the archives.