Opinion » Letters

Rude awakening


This is a response to the opinion piece, "Long overdue" (May 23), by Robert C. Cuddy.

Mr. Cuddy, I'll get straight to the point. Approximately a quarter of a billion dollars was the estimated economic impact to SLO County collectively generated by the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and Pismo State Beach from July of 2016 to July of 2017. Your hypothetical "visionaries and planners" alternatives have as good a chance of generating that amount of revenue as a snowball's chance in hell. The dunes are no different than any other place where people play. Foolish people do foolish and dangerous things, sometimes lethal things.

If we're going to get stuck with the fallout emanating from those same foolish people, how about engaging in some behavior modification techniques? Extremely severe and expensive fines and suspension or revocation of all privileges. The thing most cherished is their freedom on the dunes, along with inexpensive family fun. Threat enforcement can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on foolish behavior.

Drivers passing through Caltrans road work zones receive the warning up front that fines are doubled for violators. People think twice when considering parking in a disabled labeled spot. Why? The posted fine is $250 minimum up to $500, a very powerful incentive to park elsewhere.

The dunes are one of the critical revenue generators in our county, securing jobs, small businesses, and an assortment of amenities, enhancing the lives of not just the visitors, but locals as well. Peak season, plus alcohol, plus stupidity, equals four months of emergency sirens, blood, bereavement, and countless repetitions. Take aim at those who need to change their behavior and permit the fun-loving families to reap the benefits of the dunes experience safely.

Christopher Maccarone

Grover Beach

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