More permits, less safety?

A paternalistic attempt to make Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome rock formation safer for hikers may have paradoxically backfired. In 2010, Yosemite began to issue permits through a random lottery to visitors who wanted to scale the famed 2700-meter-high Half Dome. Park officials hoped the permit process would improve safety by limiting the number of climbers. But according to this report, the permits may have made matters worse: “When researchers analyzed search-and-rescue data on and around Half Dome from 2005 to 2015, they found no significant difference in the number of deaths and injuries after Yosemite began to issue permits. But because the permitting halved the number of visitors who hike the trail, the number of serious incidents per person effectively doubled.” (Here is a link to the full research article.) For my part, I just have one question for these researchers: permits or no permits, were the hikers allowed to carry selfie sticks?

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About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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