Make EBMUD Trails Accessible to the Youth
Currently, the East Bay Municipal Utility District does not allow minors (persons under the age of 18) to obtain trail permits and penalizes those who use their trails without them. Minors are allowed to use the trail only when accompanied by an adult family member with a permit or as one of three guests to any adult with a permit. If the minor is stopped by law enforcement while unattended on the trail he or she is cited with an infraction. This poses a problem on many levels. First of all, the technicalities of this law discourage children and teenagers from exercising, which is arguably the most important aspect of their lives as it not only keeps them physically healthy but assists them with feeling less stressed during some of the hardest ages of their lives. The law prohibits minors from running, or even walking, on the trails without an adult permit-holder and punishes them for getting their exercise if they are stopped by law enforcement. Even some of the most well known and preserved trails in the state of California do not require trail permits for minors (i.e. Mt. Shasta summit trail), so why restrict them from running on short EBMUD trails for at most an hour. Each year more and more of America's youth end up overweight and unhealthy and laws like this deserve to take some responsibility for that. Police officers are wasted on giving out infractions to runners under the age of 18 on trails while concurrently, child crime rates and drug use numbers are through the roof.