Thursday, May 09, 2013

U...tarded? Or, Thursday Night Complaints

First, it's a terrible idea to ban "all recreational human powered vehicles" on the University of Utah campus. I put this in the "stay off my lawn you damn kids" category of law in which stuffy people find anything that kids do annoying and hence worth making a rule about. It also would mean I theoretically could not bring my wife her lunch on my bike.

Second, why not just enforce the existing laws against, say, recklessly harming people? I'm pretty sure it's illegal to knock people over whether you're skateboarding, bicycling, or running on stilts - so if skaters are injuring people, campus police should give them tickets for that. Just like I should get a ticket if I run someone over with my bike, or my car, or any other vehicle. Of course, enforcing a reasonable law about not harming others would require actually paying campus police to go do it, and that's just not as much fun as making a whole bunch of new rules.

Third, what kind of sad-sack journalist doesn't even do the basic reporter thing and, say, call the campus police or whoever and find out how many injuries have been recorded due to skaters? We have the lone "professor injured 18 months ago" anecdote but no details, along with a bunch of inflammatory language like "careen". It might be the case that students are being maimed daily. Or it might be that a professor got bumped, fell down, and tweaked his knee 18 months ago and all has been well since then. We don't know, because the reporter didn't do her job. But hey, who wants that kind of information anyway? Using data to make decisions? That's crazy talk!


Anonymous said...

Careen is an underused word.

I enjoy careening about the produce section of my grocery store. It makes me feel like a rebel.

Anonymous said...

Careen is great. And for some reason, it reminds me of a high-school science teacher I had who looked exactly like Beaker who used to talk about cars beetling down the highway.

So I'm going to take my gas-powered pogo stick ( and beetle about Salt Lake while careening off the passers by. But not, of course, on the University lawn.


Anonymous said...

The operational word here is "recreational". If you are using your bike solely as transportation it would not fit the definition of recreational!

Here in San Francisco, you see many people using Long Boards "just" for transportation. Hard to do recreation tricks on a Long Board!