Skateboards confiscated in Laguna Beach

  • Wed Oct 17th, 2012 9:48pm
  • News

Associated Press

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Skateboarders in Laguna Beach who are guilty of bombing, grinding or shredding without a helmet may now find themselves without a board.

The city council voted Tuesday night to pass an ordinance allowing police to confiscate the boards of those caught riding without helmets, the latest in a series of moves the city has made to crack down on reckless skateboarding in the streets of the upscale city.

“We’re serious about this,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson said. “Maybe it will be more painful if we take their skateboard away for a week. It’s not being acknowledged by enough people.”

First-time offenders would lose their wheels for a week, repeat offenders for up to a month. The parents of those under 18, who are required by California law to wear helmets, would have to reclaim the board from police.

The council didn’t spare parents who skateboard either — unlike state law, the ordinance applies to all ages.

The measure passed with a 4-1 vote. Councilman Kelly Boyd, the lone dissenter, said it would take time away from other police work, unfairly targeted skateboarders over bicyclists and those on other vehicles, and usurped a role best played by parents.

“We’re asking the police literally to become baby-sitters,” he said, according to the Orange County Register.

Laguna Beach has steep, narrow streets that have proven irresistible to boarders for “bombing,” or zooming downhill at high speed. Complaints began cropping up two years ago from homeowners worried about hitting skateboarders.

Last year, the city banned skateboarding on its eight steepest hills. It also set a speed limit and safety rules for riders that barred acrobatics, skateboarding after dark and crossing over the center of the road.

Similar safety rules were passed by the Los Angeles city council in August after two teenage riders died from accidents. The ordinance banned bombing. It also requires skateboarders to obey stop signs and speed limits, and it prohibits skateboarders from being towed by other vehicles.

The rules followed the November 2011 death of 14-year-old Michael Borojevich and the January death of 15-year-old Caleb Simpson.

Information from: The Orange County Register.