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Baby Formula Is Out at Tulsa Hospitals: This Week in Bans

Also, Sioux City bars texting while driving and a notorious hoon gets jailed in Australia.

Tom Simpson/Flickr

Welcome back to our weekly look at what's been outlawed in cities across the world (past editions here):


Arguing that there's nothing better for a baby than a refreshing draught of milk straight from the source, two hospitals in Tulsa have stopped handing out free bags of formula. The move, which is meant to promote breastfeeding, is part of the Oklahoma Department of Health's “Ban the Bag” campaign; two-dozen more hospitals will soon make similar restrictions.

The rate of breastfeeding in Oklahoma cities is lower than the national average (71 to 77 percent), a problem given that research shows babies raised on breast milk are less likely to develop diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Medical experts fear that mothers are being lured away from natural milk by formula companies, who slip product samples into diaper bags given away at the hospital. That practice sends a "pretty strong message to the mother that I might not be able to breastfeed successfully," according to one lactation consultant interviewed by the Tulsa World. Moms who really want or need formula can still have the stuff, if they ask.


(Paul Oka/Flickr)

The Sioux Falls City Council is sick of your swervy, distracted driving. So it's decided to make texting in the car punishable by a $200 fine and 30 days in jail. The ban makes it a crime to send or even receive texts while behind the wheel, raising the question of whether you now must turn off your phone before beginning your journey, like in an airplane.

Sioux Falls' pols hope their embargo will help create a statewide law against, uh, drixting, but there are so many quirks and loopholes in it that that seems unlikely to happen. For instance, drivers are still allowed to engage in unsafe behavior like talking on the cellphone and fiddling with the GPS. And as long as they keep their hands out of sight, they theoretically can get away with sending a few whaddups to friends – the city's police chief has promised his officers will not to pull anyone over unless they see both a cellphone and bad driving, according to the Associated Press.

Still, this law is a move in the right direction. Studies suggest that texting is much more distracting than talking on a phone when driving, although the multitasking, crash-prone drivers paradoxically think they're incredibly talented on the road.



A “notorious hoon” has come a gutser in Wattle Grove, a suburb of Sydney, after officials deemed his driving was too bodgy to handle, reports the ABC. Ryan Joseph, 23, was arrested this summer after witnesses squizzed him doing burnouts in Neerabup with his 14-month-old ankle biter in the car. That made a judge at Armadale Magistrates Court mad as a cut snake, so the court sentenced the stonkered yobbo today to six months in gaol and took away his license for life. The hoon is now doomed to an endless walkabout, because in an absolute corker for justice, the state took his car and had it compacted, as per a strict anti-hoon law. Good onya!

Top photo courtesy of Tom Simpson on Flickr.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.