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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Stair Jogging Fine

People are receiving $600 tickets for running or jogging the stairs at Manhattan Beach's Sand Dune Park.

The City of Manhattan Beach is now enforcing a law that could fine people up to $600 for running the sets of stairs at Sand Dune Park.
In addition to the hefty fine, violators of the law will also be charged with a misdemeanor and have to appear in court. 

Manhattan Beach resident Kevin McBride is a victim to the new law.
“I was just running or jogging up the stairs on a Saturday and a park ranger stopped me at the top and cited me a ticket for jogging,” said McBride.

McBride was able to get his offense lowered after his court appearance.
“End up going to the court and the 433 dollars was the reduced price. And since it was a misdemeanor they reduced it to an infraction similar to like a jaywalking ticket,” said McBride.
The law was originally passed in 2002 but was started being enforced on Aug. 1.  The city employs a park ranger who goes to the park and looks for people who run or jog up the steps. 

After finding a person running or jogging the ranger issues a citation.  The city says that the law is justified.
“The steps are used by the residents who live at the top and bottom of the hill,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Richard Gill.  “They’re also used by bird watchers, by children who are in the park, so the mixture of athletes with the children and senior citizens, it became a safety concern for the city.”
More than 20 people have been cited since the law started to be enforced. One resident is surprised by the enforcement of the law.
“I can’t believe it,” said resident Grant Smith. “I remember in the past they would kind of warn you if you were running.”
One exerciser understands the law, but not the dollar fine associated with the ticket.
“The stairway is very narrow,” said Paula Curtis. “Coming up and down you can bump into someone and they can fall. So I understand them saying no running up and down, but the fine is ridiculous.  You drive through
a light and your fine is not 600 dollars.”
There are signs all along the stairs that tell people using the steps that running or jogging is prohibited, but the fine amount is not mentioned.  And McBride still has his concerns over the law.
“I just don’t think the fine fits the crime,” said McBride.  “I would have preferred a warning and I hope nobody else gets a ticket.”

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