Editorial: no rules replace responsibility

GoPro screenshot Viimsi H20 Aquapark.

PHOTO: Nele-Mai Olup

The serious accident in Viimsi water park slide this Saturday is worthy of attention whether the new facilities are guilty or not. While safety of use is a must, let us never forget the personal responsibility to be cautious and think ahead. Rules will always be general, and every incident unique. 

Obviously, with such hazards to human life, a serous investigation is expected. Also, if caused by equipment, these will have to be replaced. Equally true: after what happened, people will be alerted – and not in this water park only.  

While not attempting to lower responsibility of enterprises – it has to be high, as visitors assume the place to be safe – we cannot ignore the importance of caution. With exaggerated reliance on regulations, we would voluntarily count ourselves as minors. Want to do extreme sports? Check your health. Think to parachute? Be sure you can stand heights. Before jumping into water, ask: can I swim?  This can’t be replaced by any warnings, measures or whatnot.

Who hasn’t giggled at the «hot» signs on coffee cups or cautions on microwave ovens forbidding the drying of cats, but this is what overregulation does to us. At times, some seem to think responsibility for one’s actions can be delegated to someone else. And that’s a broader problem.

A problem that leads people to look to the state as the last instance, not realising that the outcome would be ever stricter laws which are in nobody’s interests.

Summing it up: any life-threatening accident at a service enterprise begs for heightened scrutiny. While not diminishing the importance of us having to look after ourselves.