America's gotten significantly heavier over the past twenty years and we should have seen this coming. First Kevin Smith gets booted off that flight, then that guy sues White Castle for not having plus-sized booths. Now, one of the nation's largest ferry systems is obligated to carry fewer people on each trip.
The rule change by the state ferry system comes in response to a recent modification to rules governing boat stability. Due to the obesity influx over the past two decades that, on December first, nationwide Coast Guard vessel stability rules increased the estimated adult weight from 160 pounds to 185. And, rather than weigh each passenger as they come on board or turn huskier passengers away, the state ferry system simply reduced the number of people allowed on.
"That has effectively reduced the amount of passengers by about 250 passengers or so depending on the particular ferry," Coast Guard Lieutenant Eric Young said Wednesday. "They generally carry about 2,000, so it's down to 1,750 now."
This seems a bit bureaucratic, actually. I doubt that those ferries, which are also filled with commuters' cars, would become unstable—even with all 323,750 pounds of people standing on one side of the ship. [R&D Mag - Image: the AP]