An issue currently at debate is whether we should ticket beach goers that ignore warnings and enter the water despite red flag and double red flag conditions.
Walton County has been doing it for years and they don’t seem to have as many drownings as we do. Direct correlation? Hard to say. Does it help? I would think so.
Anything that is going to cost money will deter some people. It will never deter all, but it may help. In addition it could be another source of revenue for our county or city.
Sheriff Frank McKeithen said in a statement emailed the News Herald, printed in today’s paper, that the people that enter the water during dangerous conditions are not only endangering themselves, but endangering the officers, beach workers, or bystanders that may end up having to save them. Obvious point, Sheriff, but very good nonetheless. We need to do what we can to not only keep our tourists safe (despite themselves), but our officers and other locals that risk their lives to save others.
With 2 drownings on Wednesday locals are getting fired up again, but the city seems unwilling to make a move. The same article this morning quoted Beach Police Maj. David Humphreys as saying that a ticket system will not work. He said that he’s concerned that stopping people to give them tickets may take away time that the officers have to warn others that may “listen”. Maj., how long does it take your officers to write a ticket? I would submit that warning some could take considerably longer than just writing a ticket.
True, a ticket will not deter all, but it will deter some.
I’ve started a poll and placed it on the upper right (in the sidebar). The question is: Do you think a ticket system will help deter some from entering dangerous waters on Panama City Beach?
I voted yes.Print Story