The saggy pants ban, as expected, was last night unanimously approved by the Wildwood, New Jersey, city council.
The new family friendly ordinance for the popular beach town’s boardwalk prohibits anyone from wearing pants or skirts that sag more than three inches below the waist that exposes either skin or underwear. Fines for violators would range from $25 to $200 with the possibility of community service as well. The law takes effect next month.
Police will be authorized to tell offenders to hike up their pants and if they are unwilling to comply, they must leave the boardwalk. Cops can also issue the tickets for those who insist on being uncooperative. “Cops won’t make their rounds with measuring tape … They’ll ask obvious saggers to pull up their pants or leave the boardwalk before taking action.”
According to Wildwood Mayor Ernest Troiano Jr., “This is just adding a little bit of decency to our town. It’s amazing — and this is a pun — how far decency has fallen through the cracks.”
Added Troiano: “I don’t know who comes to the boardwalk and says, ‘Let’s go to the boardwalk and find out how many asses we can see.'”
Another provision of the ordinance requires shirts after 8 p.m. and shoes/flip-flops all the time. Under existing law in Wildwood, wearing bathing suits on the boardwalk is prohibited unless they are covered up with other clothes.
Similar saggy pants rules have been enacted in other communities around the country and are sometimes challenged on constitutional grounds. As far as the civil liberties issue is concerned, Mayor Troiano didn’t mince words: “They say it’s a fashion statement and this is America and they have the right to dress how they want. Well, I have the right to decency. My right is not to have to look at your (rear end) if I don’t want to. I find that offensive.”
What do you think of Wildwood’s “crackdown” on saggy pants?