A simple lack of common sense and common courtesy leads to all sorts of grief.

A simple lack of common sense and common courtesy leads to all sorts of grief. In the case of the jerks compelled to throw insults or even objects at pedestrians, bicyclists and those in wheelchairs on or near city streets, safety becomes an immediate issue.


That why the Independence City Council this week took a needed step, making it illegal – to the tune of a $500 fine – to harass people on the edge of the road. City Manager Robert Heacock is right in saying even that might not be enough. An object thrown from a passing vehicle can cause significant damage, and the $500 might not be enough of a penalty or deterrent.


It would help if this city had a plan to address one of its more significant deficits: sidewalks. People in this town walk – a lot – and in neighborhood after neighborhood, not to mention several thoroughfares, the patchwork of sidewalks puts pedestrians either in someone’s yard or on the asphalt. It’s dangerous. Bicyclists are by law given a slice of the road, but anyone who has ridden much at all can tell you not every driver seems to see it that way.


For now, the city is doing what it can: Pass an ordinance, send a message, keep an eye on the issue, and maybe send a sterner message if needed. It’s a start, but, again, why should we need laws to compel common sense and common courtesy?