Law Enforcement is an Essential Tool in Today’s Motorized World
Every Modern Jeeper knows we must have rules to keep order and balance on our freeways as we do on our trails. It is just the way things are in this busy world. But do we need cops on our trails?
Reno 911 was a TV show with an irreverent look behind the scenes of the (supposed) Reno Police Department. It made fun of a lot of law enforcement stuff, all in good humor of course. But on our trails, do we need to consider “serious” cops. Here’s my take.
Rules, like signage, tell us where the trail is and where we can go/park/camp. Rules tell us about private property. Rules help enforce manners and common sense (like no shooting out of your vehicle; or driving over bushes and trees).
Newbies don’t always know the rules of your trails. And idiots often break the rules on purpose or just through ignorance. So the answer is, YES, on many trails we need law enforcement – we need cops!
Peer pressure goes only so far in the outback. You never know when someone might take your reminder of the rules as an insult worthy of an outburst. So we need cops in those cases.
Trail signage is like plastic Jeep windows; they don’t really keep out anyone or keep anyone on the straight and narrow. Good peeps follow rules and signs. In other cases, we need cops to enforce the law.
Law enforcement is a cornerstone in my Four E’s of Access:
⇒Engineering: Design the trails/road system to minimize user conflict and maximize access and fun.
⇒Education: Use signage to help folks remember and obey the rules, combined with brochures and workshops.
⇒Enlisting: Engage the troops; enlist their help in all Four E’s so they have ownership.
⇒Enforcement: Use the necessary law enforcement effort to save your trail and keep your access alive and well.
Recent reports talk of vast amounts of either ignorant or illegal behavior on major trail systems. Trash is accumulating along trails where it should not — much like a busy city freeway. Who wants that? Not me! Not you! Let’s take action.
I think it’s about the “it” and here’s how:
DO IT: Every responsible off-roader/four-wheeler should do everything possible to curtail bad behavior (short of violence).
REPORT IT: Report idiot or outlaw behavior to OHV cops or the Sheriff’s office. Be able to identify the culprit — not just a license plate.
CARRY IT: Carry Tread Lightly or your state/regional association brochures and give them out where needed.
TALK IT UP: Talk to fellow trail users about how bad behavior can get us shut down forever.
START IT: Start a Trail Patrol on your favorite trail. Write to me for more on that if you need help.
BE IT: Be the example — be THAT person doing it right — ALWAYS.
Let’s don’t let the motorized outlaws or uninformed newbies ruin it for us all.
What is your take on all this? Post up.