Another Aspen day. Another friend hit on the slopes.
Your recent article about Larry Niles, the skier seriously injured a few weeks ago by a hit and run, highlights the problem of out-of-control mountain fun.
Everyone, Aspen Skiing Co. in particular, must assume moral responsibility for making the mountain safer. Speeding on the slopes must be stopped.
No one wants to make SkiCo a feast for tort lawyers via legal liability. The laws that mandate personal responsibility for ski accidents are good laws.
However, just as we do not hold the state responsible for highway accidents, we do ask the state to exercise diligence in enforcing speed limits, DUIs and other safety laws. SkiCo must voluntarily embrace a similar role and actively enforce severe deterrents to speeding on the mountain, such as permanently pulling tickets and heavily fining those out of control before they hurt someone, not after.
As your article detailed, the current penalties, trivial in context, only provide an incentive to vanish, as did the guy/gal in the blue jacket, and do nothing to mitigate the problem.
All of us must also step up and order that stranger who just zoomed by at a ridiculous speed to please slow down and play with others on the mountain safely. While it might take the entire Aspen village, we can make the slopes safer and save a friend’s tragic accident.