Calendar Missing Days?
I just received the December issue in the mail and was reading through it as I do every other issue I get. While reading about the Ultimate Adventure, I noticed that your captions went from “Day 5, Wednesday, July 6,” to “Day 6, Thursday, July 8.” What happened to July 7? The article is fantastic, as all your articles have been. I was just caught a little off guard going from the 6th to the 8th. Keep up the great work at your wonderful magazine and I’ll keep reading it. Maybe one of these years I’ll have a rig built that will be eligible for the UA.
By the sixth day of UA we have no idea what the day or date is, and we just felt we could show that fact by printing it in the magazine. Really. Yeah, that’s it!
After hearing about yet another trail closure due to a lawsuit, it occurs to me that perhaps we are in need of a law change. I’m fired up. One of the many reasons that trails are closing is because private landowners are fearful of potentially backbreaking lawsuits if someone is injured or killed on their property and the family subsequently sues.
It occurs to me that potentially we could create a new type of land designation I call Zero Liability Recreation Areas. My idea would be a landowner of an unimproved “wild” property could file some paperwork and have their land designated as Zero Liability with the government. They would either post a sign or in some other reasonable way notify people of the new status (I’m thinking a government website could be created showing the areas clearly marked). Anyone who enters the property in any way then assumes 100 percent liability for anything that happens to them, with no option to sue the landowner over injuries or deaths. This would eliminate the need for landowners to collect release forms from every person entering an off-road park. Not to mention, release forms are typically far from airtight in court, and smart landowners have to carry tons of insurance regardless. Simply by crossing the property line, the four-wheeler would assume full personal responsibility and could not blame the landowner for anything.
Am I crazy, or is this a good idea? Seems like a long time ago someone who died while enjoying his favorite hobby was mourned and then everyone moved on. Now every time I turn on the news I see some grieving family members saying how “there were no warning signs posted that (fill in the blank) was a dangerous activity” or whatever. I feel for these people, but it’s like they have been coached by an attorney to start playing the blame game. I feel like asking them, “Is this what your loved one would have wanted? You to ruin the land or business owner because your loved one died driving his favorite Jeep? You really think your loved one didn’t know it was dangerous and would have stopped if there had been a simple warning sign? Give me a break.”
I wish this kind of law existed now. I just heard that one of my favorite hiking trails, Cedar Creek Falls, was closed because someone slipped and fell down a cliff. And just a few days ago someone fell into the Maui blowhole, which is on private land. I can almost guarantee that it will soon be closed because I saw the widow on TV crying that her husband really didn’t know it was dangerous to hike there. (There weren’t any warning signs saying specifically that the ocean being forced through a tiny restriction and blowing 50 feet in the air might be dangerous.)
Please publish this if you can. I really want to raise awareness that this attitude has to stop. I feel for anyone who loses a family member. I just don’t think that means you get to sue everyone in sight so you can get a big payoff.
I’m still thinking of a reason to disagree. Yes, coffee is hot and will burn you if you spill it in your lap, sorry. Thanks for writing.
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