The story in this entry has left me wondering about several things including the ability to distinguish right from wrong. I am not even going to attempt to figure out what side if any is right or wrong, however I do invite your comments.
OTTAWA (AFP) – A skateboarder was jailed Wednesday for refusing to stay off a Canadian city’s streets, spotlighting how municipalities push people to walk or cycle more, yet often bylaws leash them to their cars.
Lee Breen, 25, was ticketed in August 2007 for skateboarding on Fredericton City streets in easternmost Canada, but refused to pay the fine, and so a judge ordered him jailed for five days.
He turned himself in to police at midday Wednesday.
“The city says it wants its citizens to find alternative forms of transportation, and so I did,” Breen said by telephone from outside Fredericton city hall, prior to his arrest.
“I completely bought into the ‘green lifestyle.’ I run a gas-free lawn care company and I don’t drive. And now, they’re putting me in jail for actually embracing an alternative form of transportation that cuts down on (CO2) emissions.”
City officials say skateboarding in car traffic is a safety risk to both Breen and motorists, despite Breen’s claims that he wears a helmet, avoids sidewalks and makes hand signals.
But a feisty Breen pointed to a city environmental campaign that encourages Fredericton residents to drive less to help cut carbon emissions linked to global warming, to bolster his position.
An excerpt from the municipality’s website states that Canadians take over 2,000 car trips each year that are shorter than three kilometers (two miles).
“Leaving the car keys at home and pulling out the walking shoes or bike helmet can save you gas money, reduce your emissions by up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of CO2 per year, and help you become more physically active,” it says.
Fredericton City spokesman Wayne Knorr commented: “This isn’t about a 12-year-old kid skating through a sleepy neighborhood. It’s about an adult skateboarding in a busy downtown street, out in the middle of traffic where he’s endangering both himself and motorists.”
“There are many modes of green transportation that are appropriate, but at no time should they jeopardize public safety,” he said.
One can only wonder about the lasting psychological damage will be to people living in a politically correct world.