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LA Wants to Put the Brakes on Skateboard "Bombers"

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In a move that will please the mothers of the world and bum out the longboard-toting fraternity member set, the LA City Council today voted to move forward with an ordinance that could make skateboard "bombing"--otherwise known as skating super fast downhill--a punishable offense. The vote sets in motion the City Attorney's Office to craft an ordinance that would require "skateboarders to stay on the right-side of the road, yield to pedestrians and vehicles, stop at stop signs and uncontrolled intersections, and maintain a speed under 25 mph," according to KPCC. Newest Councilmember Joe Buscaino introduced the motion following the deaths of two teenagers--one 14 and one 15--in recent months. In an email statement to Curbed today, Councilmember Buscaino explains his intentions: "I want to be clear that I do not want to ban skateboarding, and I would certainly rather kids spend their free time skateboarding than experimenting with drugs and alcohol, or breaking into cars. I simply want to give our LAPD officers the tools to address reckless skateboarding, especially the practice of "bombing," which is dangerous for skateboarders, pedestrians and drivers alike."

Dennis Gleason, a rep for Buscaino, also explained to us that the Public Safety Committee report on the new ordinance doesn't spell out another feature that Buscaino would like to see: the authority for LAPD to confiscate the skateboards of violators, allowing a parent or guardian to pick boards up from the police station the same day and be notified of the violation. Depending on how the City Attorney drafts the ordinance, reckless skateboarding could be an infraction or a misdemeanor.

In anticipation of today's vote, LAist last week collected a sample of YouTube videos of skateboarders bombing the hills of San Pedro, some of which you can watch below (fair warning: these videos are not for the queasy):

· Reckless skateboarding to be banned under LA proposal [KPCC]
· City Council Cracks Down on 'Hill Bombers' Following Skateboarding Deaths [LAist]