By Bill Shields

MIDDLEBORO (CBS/AP) — The townspeople of Middleboro have passed a ban on cursing.

At a town meeting Monday, they voted 183-50 to approve the proposal from the town’s police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Supporters say the ban isn’t meant to censor casual or private conversations, but instead crack down on loud profanity heard in downtown areas and public parks.

Middleboro has had a bylaw against public profanity since 1968, but it’s rarely if ever been enforced because it essentially makes swearing a crime. The new proposal would decriminalize profanity, allowing police to write tickets as they would for traffic violations.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Bill Shields

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