What does "no swimming from bridge" mean?

There are a lot of signs in Texas at lakes and rivers that say, “No jumping or swimming from bridge.” The jumping part is obvious even if I sometimes disagree that it shouldn’t be allowed at that location. I really can’t make sense of the swimming part though. I mean bridges are usually above water (that’s the whole purpose of them) so unless you can swim through air, you can’t swim from a bridge. If it only said, “no swimming from bridge,” I would likely guess that they mean no jumping, but since it says both, that would be senselessly redundant. I might would also think they meant no swimming under the bridge but I know bridges with this sign that people swim under all the time and the only way they might get in trouble is if they’re caught jumping from the bridge. I’m out of guesses.

Depending on the flow rate of the river in question (which can vary dramatically), it can be quite dangerous to swim near bridges. Even placidly flowing water can speed up as it makes it way in and around the bridge supports. Swimmers can get trapped or pinned against bridge supports.

It’s a fact that people don’t understand the power of moving water, and when water moves under or around a fixed object, whether it’s a bridge support or a fallen tree, it can lead to trouble.

So the upshot is they don’t want people jumping off the bridge, nor do they want people swimming near the bridge. The sign covers both of these activities.

I would take that as not to use the bridge as a entry to swimming, as in lowering yourself to the water from it. One might extend that to exiting the water or a mid-swim support, though technically that would be swimming to bridge.

I have seen some scuba diving locations where is is recommended to bring a ladder for water access which could explain a type of swimming from bridge.

The expression “swimming from bridges” is not (AFAIK) a part of New York law, but is occasionally used in regulations or warnings by landowners. It has the meaning kanicbird suggests: to lower oneself into the water by dangling from the bridge framework and then dropping is, in the finest of would-be legal ntipickery, not “jumping” from the bridge but merely “swimming” from it. (Alas, I have no cites, just recall of having seen such signs and cops’ explanation of what they meant.)

I guess that makes sense then. I think I would consider that to be “swimming from bridge”. I just couldn’t imagine someone actually thinking that would be a good idea, but I could say that about most Darwin Award winners.

Are you a smartass lawyer? :slight_smile: Swimming from bridge means swimming in the water when your entry point was from the bridge.

You know how laws say things like “no smoking in an elevator or otherwise holding a lit tobacco product”? The last part was for people like you. Some asshat probably argued in court that he wasn’t smoking, but merely holding his lit cigarette until he got out of the elevator. Just like you swimming from the bridge. :slight_smile:

But sometimes they mess up, like when they have a sign that says “No smoking food or drink in room”. “But judge, I wasn’t smoking food, I was smoking cigarettes!”

The problem was I couldn’t imagine a scenario that involved entering the water from a bridge other than jumping and even still, I can’t think of a single bridge I’ve swam near that you could climb down. (I don’t doubt they exist but most bridges just have columns in the middle.) You’d need a rope to go directly from the bridge to the water without jumping and who would do that when they could just walk down the ditch?

Right, but you could walk down the embankment near the bridge and use the pilings to swim from. And when the cops show up, if the sign said only “No jumping from bridge” you could argue that you didn’t jump from the bridge, only “placed” yourself in the water.

People do that all the time where I used to swim. Once the cops came and harassed us saying people had called in saying we were jumping off the bridge, but since we were swimming under it, they did nothing. If that’s what it means, then it certainly isn’t enforced.

“No Smoking While Swimming From Bridge”

I think asshat should be a legal term.