LA Moves to Ban Skateboard ‘Bombing’
By City News Service
The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday approved a motion aimed at outlawing reckless skateboarding or “bombing.”
“The fact is kids are dying,” said harbor-area Councilman Joe Buscaino, who came up with the idea in February.
The ordinance – which is yet to be drafted and makes no mention of rollerblades or inline skates –would hold skateboarders to the same rules of the road as bicyclists and limit speeds to 25 mph. California law already requires skateboarders younger than 18 to wear helmets.
Buscaino, a former police officer, said the move was prompted by two deaths.
In January, Caleb Daniel Simpson, 15, was skateboarding downhill near Weymouth Avenue at the edge of Averill Park in San Pedro – reportedly traveling in excess of 40 mph and without a helmet – when he collided with another skateboarded and died at a hospital the next day.
In November, 14-year-old Michael Borojevich was injured while skateboarding near Western Avenue and 25th Street and died 11 days later, according to the Daily Breeze. Bombing, or going down steep hills at high speeds, is popular in San Pedro because of the area’s terrain. Skateboarders from around the country and the world come to San Pedro just to ride the hills, according to a police officer who addressed the City Council.
Buscaino’s motion defines bombing as skating on city streets at “excessive speeds, sometimes obstructing traffic, and failing to yield at stop signs.”
Police assigned to the Harbor Station have a “hot spot” task force whose officers ticket skateboarders for unsafe practices, but Buscaino said officers want an ordinance to deal with skakeboarders specifically.
“The last thing I want to do is ban skateboarding,” Buscaino said. But “if you’re going to skateboard, do it in a safe manner” and make use of skate parks designed for the purpose, he said.
A skate park is being built at San Pedro’s Peck Park.
The motion passed 12-0. It will now be up to the City Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance for the council’s approval.Print This Post
May 3, 2012 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.