It’s no secret that skateboarders and law enforcement don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. Skaters often feel singled out by the authorities, and recent news from the Los Angeles City Council meeting may reinforce that outlook.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to seek a speed limit for skateboarders and penalize them for failing to follow a range of traffic rules, from stopping at stop signs to yielding to pedestrians.”
To be fair, these rules were proposed in response to the death of two skateboarders in the past year. The city council is hoping to bring a stop to “bombing” hills, the term skaters use for going downhill at high speeds, by enforcing a speed limit of 25-mph.
If Councilman Joe Buscaino has his way, skateboarders will be facing penalties such as harsh fines, traffic citations, and even the impounding of their skateboards.
“We’re looking at having the officers impound the skateboards after the citation is given so that the parents can go to the police station and recover the skateboard,” Buscaino said.
As you can imagine, the skateboard community is left feeling singled out, as there is no enforced speed limit for cyclists in Los Angeles. Skate shop owner Mike Horelick voiced his doubts about the enforced speed limit, stating, “Skateboarders can’t tell exactly how fast they’re going. If you’re driving, you look at the speedometer. But if you’re a skateboarder, you’re looking at the road in front of you.”
Photo courtesy of the LA Times-Allen J. Schaben