While I was in Atlanta for Dragon*Con 2011, I found myself using their metro system on a fairly regular basis. Over there, they call it the MARTA, which stands for “Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority” – it happens to be the 9th largest metro system in the United States. Unlike Montreal, their trains use a combination of underground and outdoor rails, the latter made possible by the subtropical climate.
On one particular day, I found myself waiting for a lift at a MARTA station. Since I had nothing else to do, I began reading a sign that described some of the rules and regulations behind the MARTA. I was particularly curious about whether they allowed eating or drinking on the trains – it clarified this, by saying it was “against the law” to do so. It also went on to list additional items that were against the law, and in general, they were informative.
But… wait a second, what’s that in the bottom right corner?
Upon reading that, I realized my plan to punch a MARTA employee could never be brought to fruition. Way to ruin my plans, MARTA.
In all seriousness, though, I always enjoy seeing unnecessary warnings in the United States – they just seem so silly to me. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of the States, but here in Canada, law suits are fairly rare. As a result, warnings are usually present when they are not immediately obvious. In the States, this is usually not the case – it’s like they want to cover all their bases, regardless of how self-evident the warnings may be. For the sake of humanity, I would hope that they didn’t have to add that particular entry after someone assaulted a MARTA employee, and tried to argue that it was a legal to do so.