When the Mammoth Town Council met Wednesday night, they declined to prohibit skateboards on town streets.
Police Chief Dan Watson brought up the issue of potential regulation of skateboards for discussion. He reminded officials and citizens of the death of a visitor when he fell from a skateboard on one of Mammoth’s streets. The Chief reported that this tragic event resulted in on-line discussion about riding skateboards on various roads. The Chief had received complaints.
Chief Watson told the Town Council that the state vehicle code does not prohibit skateboards on streets but local authorities could through an ordinance. Watson said other cities prohibit skateboards on all streets, some streets and sidewalks.
The Chief did point out that skateboarders could face the same kinds of violations as pedestrians such as impeding traffic. Chief Watson made it clear he felt the whole topic was open for discussion.
Nine skateboarders stood up to object to regulation of what for many of them is their only mode of transportation. Wave Rave owner, Steve Klassen, asked for no regulation and said to the Council, “Please don’t take away skateboarding in this town.”
Councilman John Eastman said that accidents do happen, but he was not interested in taking away a way of life and the rights of people to skateboard. Councilman Skip Harvey said he could relate to the sense of freedom, the need for transportation and a physical work out. Harvey did ask the skateboarders in the room to set a safe example for others.
All of the other councilmembers agreed with no prohibition on skateboarders. Mayor Jo Bacon asked for greater public awareness on the need for skateboarders to operate safely.