Safety First

Why would anyone in their right mind ride a motorcycle? And without a helmet at that.

That makes no sense to me. The risk the individual is taking is enormous to their physical well being and for what? Thrills, ease of transportation, low costs….whatever it is, I don’t understand it.

Then again, I don’t have to understand it. They are the one taking the risk. if something goes wrong, they pretty much bear the brunt of their decision. In a relatively free society, that is how things work.

You take the risk, you assume responsibility for the risk and simultaneously the reward associated with the risk. To some people, the reward of riding a motorcycle is worth the risk. They have plenty of information available that allows them to make an informed decision. Reputation associated with the activity, influence of friends and family members, insurance statistics; it is their for the learning.

Here for instance is an interesting statistic. The most common causes of house fires are: arson, candles, cooking, overload electric circuits, heating in winter months and young children smoking. The common threat to the individual’s health and safety is individual themselves.

Most people do not intentionally burn down their dwelling. Nor do they light so many candles and leave them burning that they might cause a fire. A few people have not learned that amping up your home computer and gaming system at the same time might not be such a good idea. Open flames for heating a house in the winter, yikes?!?? And please, don’t let your child play with matches.

Seems that health & safety is in the eye of the beholder. Some ride motorcycles and some rent apartments. Now, which do you think has the greatest risk?

Obviously, renting an apartment. So great is the risk, that the city is compelled by their own warped sense of government paternalism that every rental unit in West Lafayette must be inspected. Presumably looking for threats to a renter’s health and safety. I sincerely hope they see the renter is the biggest threat.

Instead of inspecting the units, maybe every renter should be required to a official “good tenant” certificate. Now that would make sense.

Nonetheless, there is no need for the city to be inspecting rental units. Like the motorcycle rider, there is enough information available to the prospective tenants to know what their landlord is like. If “grade your teacher” is a viable activity, then so would be rate your landlord“. It is amazing how far some businesses will go to avoid negative publicity. Word of move, instant social media and experience are great motivation for businesses to act ethically, without the nanny state inspecting them. Ask Starbucks or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Markets work. Information is passed back and forth, decisions are made. Those who want the ultimate in health and safety in their apartment will find a landlord who offers that. Those who like to ride motorcycles, well they will find a landlord who meets their need. There is no need for the city of West Lafayette to get involved.

Eliminate the inspection program all together and Nick DeBoer won’t have to listen to the “whinnying” landlords and the Mayor will not have to take phone calls from upset parents who think the city is hear to wipe their child’s nose when they sneeze while away from home.

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