A sign of rules on a Shore Transit bus in Salisbury. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.- Watch that mouth or pay up. That's what some Maryland lawmakers are saying in a bill meant to put a stop to using obscene language on public transit vehicles.
If passed, the law would impact anyone riding buses on the Eastern Shore.
"I have been riding the bus since August and it gets really bad in the summer time," said John Bradford in Salisbury on Thursday, "because you've got seasonal workers and they are just constantly cussing and using racial slurs and it gets really bad."
But not all riders agree with what some state lawmakers are trying to do.
"This is ridiculous you know, trying to stop someone from cussing when you've got all these criminals out here burning houses down and all that and so this is ridiculous," said Cornelius Carter.
"It's taking away some of our basic rights of freedom of speech, " said Thomas Ashton.
Gregory Hargrove said that he rides on the issue somewhere in the middle.
"I don't necessarily get offended by it but I know a lot of older people get offended by it," Hargrove said, "and sometimes when people use obscene language they are always loud and it can be disrespectful to a lot of people."
Brad Bellacicco, who is the deputy director of Shore Transit, said that if the law passes the agency will enforce it.
"It puts some legal weight behind what we are already trying to do," Bellacicco said, "to encourage people to be polite and respect the other riders when they are on the bus or traveling, because if you are trying to get from point A to point B then you want to enjoy the experience as much as possible."
If the bill becomes law, riders would be fined $50 for using profanity on almost all local publicly-used transit vehicles.
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