January 18th, 2007

to serve man

(no subject)

Dateline Bangor, Maine: There is a $50 fine for adults who smoke in cars with children.

Part of the thinking here makes sense to me; we recognize tobacco use as a health problem, and we take incremental measures to protect people (in this case, children, who have no control over who drives them around) from second-hand smoke. The thing that troubles me is that this isn't being presented as a law they're serious about enforcing, it's a means to "educate" the public.

Really, guys? Is a cop pulling a person over the most effective form of education these days? I'm sure that public service announcements on TV don't do anything, but there's got to be a better way to get information out.

So that got me thinking. Let's say that a $50 is a good way to educate people about certain facts. Here's my suggestions for Bangor's next 10 laws on their "curriculum":

  1. Eat 5 servings of vegetables a day.
  2. It's pronounced noo-clee-ur.
  3. I before E, except after C, except when sounding like A, as in "neighbor" and "weigh".
  4. When dividing fractions, invert the one on the bottom and multiply.
  5. "Lose" is a verb, "loose" is an adjective. "Loose" can also be a verb, but you probably mean "Lose".
  6. The planets, in order, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and maybe Pluto.
  7. "Literally" is not a synonym for "Figuratively" and will not be used as a means to emphasize an exaggeration.
  8. Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.
  9. Wash your hands afterwards.
  10. Treat others with respect.

Now, I know the city of Bangor doesn't have the resources to enforce these laws, but they seem to be good points of education. And, hey, if they did manage to collect $50 for minor infractions, they might be able to fund an apostrophe abuse response team.

Now it's your turn: using the bully pulpit of police enforcement, what else should the public be educated on?