According to the good folks of Middleborough, Massachusetts, swearing has gotten so out of control that they are considering slapping a fine on those who utter curse words in public. Police Chief Bruce Gates has proposed to issue $20 tickets to those who are yelling profanities in order to calm the downtown noise pollution in this quiet, small town.
As business owner Paulette Lilla said,
“It’s intimidating to my customers, to the people who are out here downtown, and I think it’s a good thing that they’re doing something to try to curb it.” Others don’t think, realistically, that the fine will solve the problem, but they hope at least that it will send a lesson about acceptable behavior.
Chief Bruce Gates acknowledges that there are more important things to do in town. However, he says that, “these are things that are quality of life issues, community policing issues that a lot of people don’t want to see downtown.”
The plan is to bring the ticketing idea before the Town Meeting in June. But wait – there’s more. They are proposing a large list of other fines as well at the Town Meeting, including a $300 ticket if you’re found smoking pot in public, a $50 ticket if you’re shoveling your snow into the street and more.
With the new proposed bylaw, officers will write a $300 ticket and the accused will have to be paid at the town clerk’s office. Should the town meeting approve of these proposals, they will then become law in Middleborough.
While the measures might make sense – they certainly don’t paint a pleasant picture of life in Middleborough with its pot smoking, constantly-swearing residents.