Common sense laws promote common good

People talking on the phone during movies, angry fans spitting on baseball players and wall-to-wall graffiti are just a few of the city-life problems that New York legislation is attempting to overcome. And regardless of how people personally feel about the laws, by eliminating the small issues, New York has been able to enforce common sense.

Historically, New York is known for having a little attitude, but a series of laws and fines in the city that never sleeps are setting the standard for big city etiquette. These laws that have been slowly enacted over the last few years are an interesting way to try to limit the amount of annoying behavior that goes on in the city, and other cities are welcoming the changes.

Out of control fans have always been an issue at Major League Baseball games across the country, and after a series of arrests and bans from the stadiums, New York Yankees and Mets fans know that they can’t get away with crossing the line. Chicago took notice and created a policy mirroring the New York law. This is something that Cleveland should definitely take note of, especially after a series of not-so-flattering incidents at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

A $50 fine for anyone caught talking on the phone in the movie theater or at a Broadway show is one of the most popular of the laws. Boston and San Francisco have adopted similar laws. Now, although this does not seem to be a major offense, situations such as these cause unnecessary public disruptions that can escalate to further violence. Plus, who wouldn’t want to put an end to listening to other people’s annoying phone calls filled with too much information?

Even little things like putting feet on a subway seat could result in riders receiving a fine. Graffiti clean-up is now the responsibility of the building owners and not the city. But these little limitations are quieting a lot of unnecessary complaining.

However, there are a few of these laws that might cross the line. For instance, one specific law, prohibiting children younger than the age of 10 from attending the movies after 10 p.m., impedes on the rights of parents to enforce basic rules. Taking away the importance of good parenting, this law now makes it the responsibility of the city to take care of the unwanted noise in the theaters.

And although these all seem to be little problems on their own, when put together it can amount to more crime for the city to deal with. By controlling these incidents before they result in arrests and injuries, the city of New York is implementing common courtesy as law.

And let’s not forget that many of these laws started after a few smoking bans hit New York City. City-wide smoking bans are popping up, not only in major U.S. cities, but also close to home. Portage County has temporarily put its smoking ban on hold. But if New York is the trend-setter of these common sense laws, then just maybe there will be a fine for movie theater phone conversations coming to a city near us.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.