Many people have fond memories of sledding down steep slopes, the exhilaration of blitzing down a hill, followed by crashing into a bitingly cold snow bank.
A growing number of cities are banning the activity over fears they may be held liable for sledding accidents. Among those cities is Dubuque, Iowa, where the city council is planning to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks.
“We have all kinds of parks that have hills on them," Marie Ware, Dubuque's leisure services manager, told Fox News. "We can't manage the risk at all of those places.”
Although Dubuque city council members were unhappy about the impending ban, they agreed it was necessary in the wake of costly lawsuits levied against cities after sledding accidents. The city council specifically pointed to incidents including a $2 million judgment against Omaha, Nebraska, after a 5-year-old girl was paralyzed when she hit a tree, and a $2.75 million payment when a man in Sioux City, Iowa, injured his spinal cord after sliding into a sign.
Bans in cities like Omaha, Nebraska, have failed due to their impracticality. After losing a lawsuit, the city banned sledding at a popular hill but people chose to ignore it. "It wasn't practical, people wouldn't abide by the ban,” Assistant City Attorney Tom Mumgaard said.
Omaha instead placed signs in the parks, warning sledders of the potential danger. Dubuque city council members have not given any indication they will pursue an alternative to the ban.