The metaphoric threshold that separates a smart risk from a stupid risk.
It's referred to by some as "the stupid line," the line one crosses from taking a smart risk to taking a stupid risk. It's the difference between, say, learning to mountain climb with the proper gear or just setting out on your own. Or maybe choosing to leave your 10-year-old alone in a room with a lit fireplace, compared to leaving your one-year-old. The consequences of one choice are much different than the other.
Agnes Bongers, "Risk Management," The Hamilton Spectator, May 6, 2003
TERRY MILEWSKI: Now the Trudeaus are trying to put their grief to good use. The family was devastated by the death of Michel [in an avalanche] and they're hoping to educate a snowbound nation about the risks we're taking in ever-growing numbers.
MARGARET TRUDEAU / MOTHER: What about the idea of yes, we're gonna take risks. That's what life is, that's what life is. But we're not gonna cross the stupid line. We're going to say to our buddies, when they dare us to jump off a corner where we know the snow might not be stable "that would be stupid."
MILEWSKI: You only have to watch the boundary ropes at Whistler to see just how popular crossing the stupid line is. People can't wait to ski out of bounds and they don't seem to care about the risk of an avalanche.
"Trudeaus advocate avalanche safety," The National (CBC TV), January 14, 2000
The Canadian Injury Prevention Foundation (CIPF) today launched a national advertising campaign designed to make people re-think their risk-taking behaviour. At a news conference in Toronto, television spots featuring a young girl strapping herself into an electric chair, and a teenage boy about to dive off a bridge, were premiered. The campaign includes radio spots ending with the message, "We each have a line of choice that separates smart risk from stupid risk. The Stupid Line. Where will you draw yours?".
"The Canadian Injury Prevention Foundation launches 'The Stupid Line' campaign," Canada NewsWire, January 6, 1994
The phrase stupid line was invented in 1994 by the Canadian Injury Prevention Foundation, now called SMARTRISK (see www.smartrisk.ca).