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Regulation of the Day 203: Sledding

If you live in a part of the country where the winters are cold and snowy, some of your most cherished childhood memories probably involve sledding down a snow-covered hill. But in Beaver Borough, Pennsylvania, regulators guard that activity very carefully.

For one, children under 12 are required to wear helmets while sledding. That’s not particularly onerous, though there is an argument to be made about parental discretion. Sledding is also banned in some parks, though it is allowed in others. The Borough recently circulated a newsletter to confused residents explaining what’s allowed where.

The real kicker is that out-of-town children are not allowed to go sledding in Beaver Borough, on pain of a $25 fine. If out-of-towners are in Beaver Borough to visit friends or relatives, they’ll need to find something else to do for a family outing.

The town did this on the advice of its insurance company. Jon Delano, a local journalist, contacted the insurer to ask how a sledder’s home address could possibly affect any liability concerns. Perhaps sensing that this makes no sense, the company would not talk to him.

Of course, police officers have better things to do than find out where sledders live. Hopefully they realize that as they drive past families taking turns going down the hills of Roosevelt Park.