Friday, February 03, 2012

Longboards should be banned on roads

The following was the Province Editorial for February 2, 2012.

It should come as no surprise in these self-centred times that District of North Vancouver officials find themselves in serious, yet totally whack discussions with longboarders over their professed "right" to use public streets as they see fit.

The district is considering raising fines for reckless riders and giving police the power to seize dangerously rid-den longboards - long skateboards used to coast at high speed down hills, often controlling speed by swerving back and forth across several lanes. Some North Van residents say many longboarders ride in a dangerous manner.

Since there has already been one longboard fatality in the district and there is no safe way for longboarders to share the roads with motor vehicles, given the on the edge way most of them are ridden, the district should boot them off the streets.

Read more...

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, let's see. They coast at high speeds swerving back and forth across several lanes of traffic and they have no brakes.

Our elected reps spend time sitting and listening to their point of view.

Is there anyone else who thinks our world has gone insane?

Don McBain said...

Well I think that restricting them may save a life sometime, who knows - it may be my grandchild or yours.

As for what those restrictions are, I am not the one to decide, so we all need to formulate them.

BTW Anonymous I don't think you are insane and I hope you don't think that of me.

Anonymous said...

Wait, aren't there already rules under the Highway Act? Why is the municipality wasting it's time with this? They don't bother enforcing the bylaws that are already on the books, so why add more? Focus on the real problems, not the ones made up by the prematurely old.

Anonymous said...

What about vehicle insurance? If a driver collides with a longboarder it's his/her insurance that may be affected.

Anonymous said...

They should, except if roads are removed of traffic for specific events.

The most important issue is that many of them do not stand up on their boards.

We drivers often don't see them.

Anonymous said...

The most important issue is that they have no brakes.

Anonymous said...

I have heard from a reliable source that a woman living in the District is being sued by her neighbour because her neigbhour's son hit her car while longboarding and became injured, as the woman was making a turn into her own driveway. It happened a couple years ago, and the lawsuit is still going on.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the same thing the DNV council has been doing for years -- paying attention to special interest groups at the expense of their current residents and TAXPAYERS.

Anonymous said...

Longboarders should be banned

I agree that longboards should be banned on public roads and that our streets are not playgrounds.

A preteen kid fell off his board beside my car and did a nasty face-plant. I’ve had to brake suddenly as two night-riding longboarders cut me off out of nowhere.

Most longboarders aren’t out to obey laws, but to ride for the risk and thrill of the inherently dangerous sport. Just because someone invents a dangerous sport, sells it to others, and insists on their “right” to ride on public roads, doesn’t mean we must accommodate them. If the District of North Vancouver appeased longboarders, look out folks! Our streets will soon belong to the boarders and we will be blamed if we hit them with our licensed vehicles.

Monica Craver, North Vancouver

Written in response to the Province editorial.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Don, I don't think I'm insane either (or you). The question was has our world gone insane?

Point being we have an entire field of provincial legislation that already covers what vehicles may use the public thoroughfares and how they must be used and this legislation cannot be superceded by local policians yet they waste time on this subject.

Here's an idea. How about local politicians declaring war on Switzerland?

Anonymous said...

Good to see George's blog back in action...
http://northvancouncilwatch.blogspot.com/

and no, I'm not George

Anonymous said...

ICBC Should get involved.

Ur local longboarders said...

What kind of sick mind names a longboard a "Baby Killer"? That is one of Rayne's newer longboard models. Get to know longboards, with model names: Demonseed, Renegade, Avenger, Vendetta, and Hellcat. Do you still think that they will obey the rules of the road, DNV? Do you really think longboarders can be educated?

Anonymous said...

It's only marketing, dude. If there are legal problems, let the police deal with it. Otherwise, keep the municipality focused on municipal matters and nothing else. Why so much angst towards a few kids having fun? Do any of you even remember your youth? You've turned into the people you probably swore you'd never become - intolerant old farts!

Anonymous said...

Longboarding should be banned if for only one reason -- they don't stop at stop signs.

Anonymous said...

Neither do automobiles and bicyclists. You want to ban those, too?

Anonymous said...

At least motorists and cyclists have the ability to stop. A longboarder roaring down a steep incline does not.

Anonymous said...

Is there a bylaw in the District of North Vancouver requiring one to become a crotchety old fart once you move there? I've never seen as many whiners protesting against people living life and enjoying themselves in my life! How many long boarders are there? And of them, how many are really inconveniencing you? Get over it already! If the law is being broken, leave it to the police and stop getting your panties in a wad over the youngsters being youngsters. You folks seriously need to get a hobby and stop worrying about what other people are doing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:47

Are you old enough to pay taxes?

Anonymous said...

Also, Anon 2:47

Are you old enough to pay insurance?

Anonymous said...

Yes I am, and do! I'm nearly 50! Life's too short to be so damned uptight! In the words of Mame Denis, "Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

Anonymous said...

What a moron!

You can do whatever you want regardless of defying laws to the contrary and no one should worry about it and just hope that the police catch them.

Takes the prize for stupid post of the week.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just a minute. I think that we've uncovered a candidate for a local politician.

Anonymous said...

Wake up sunshine. Kids have been skateboarding since the 50's (maybe even as early as the 40's). You aren't going to stop it any time soon. The real point is, this isn't a municipal matter, it's a police matter. Municipal politicians should be focusing on their tasks and nothing more. If you want to increase the role of municipal government, be prepared for the additional costs associated with it. I'll give you a hint - higher taxes. So stop encouraging local government to act on matters outside their mandate. Is that clear enough for you?

Anonymous said...

Well friend if someone needs to wake up it's you.

Numerous posters (including me) have already stated that the provincial highways and motor vehicle act laws already prohibit the skateboards and that local council can't supercede their authority. Therefore council discussing it is a waste of time.

You've managed to restate what has already been said while taking the goofy position that it's kind of OK because they're going to do it anyway so we shouldn't be uptight about worrying that we might run one of them over.

You should run for office.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those posters who said it was covered by the highway act. In fact, I think I was the first to say it, here. Leave it for the police to sort out and leave the municipal government to do what it is mandated to do. I object strongly to people who think council needs to create a bylaw every time something is perceived as wrong or inconvenient. I will not apologize for my views about kids 'doing it anyway'. I was once young and haven't forgot it. Focus on the important issues and don't sweat the small stuff. This blog seems to attract the prematurely 'old' and militantly serious.

Anonymous said...

Longboarders will continue to flaunt the rules as long as they can get away with it. Knowing DNVs inability to enforce bylaws with regularity, these longboarders will continue to get away with a lot more. I think the problem lies more with the parents rather than the kids on boards. The parents should be held accountable for their longboarding brats "terrorizing" the neighbourhoods. But those parents are also the ones who usually pass the blame onto others, not themselves or their darling children. Everyone loses.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:57

1. We don't need to worry about a bylaw because that type of vehicle is already prohibited under MVA Act Regs. So worrying about a new bylaw is a strawman and we all can agree that even discussing it was a waste of time.

2. You should be ashamed of such an irresponsible position. The fact that you think that you are unique because you can remember when you were young and then trivializing the trauma of potentially running over, injuring or even killing one of these people is adolescent. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Over react much? Come on, now. Kids have been skateboarding on the streets of the north shore for decades and will continue to do so. As a motorist, it's your responsibility to keep your eyes open. There are many streets on the north shore where sidewalks don't exist, so you need to slow down and watch for others who share the road. Whether those users are walking, on a bike, or skate board hardly makes any difference. Slow down and share the roads.

Anonymous said...

Illegal vehicles without lights or brakes on the roads inches off the ground at high speed?

Over react? Driver's responsibility?

Here's a novel idea. We follow the law and encourage others to do so too and take responsibility for their own behaviour. We don't accept those breaking the law trying to make others responsible for their decisions.

It's called being an adult.

Anonymous said...

Illegal vehicles without lights or brakes on the roads inches off the ground at high speed?

Over react? Driver's responsibility?

Here's a novel idea. We follow the law and encourage others to do so too and also take responsibility for their own behaviour.

We don't accept those breaking the law trying to make others responsible for their decisions.

It's called being an adult.

Anonymous said...

30 some odd years ago I had a skateboard. We were not allowed to skateboard on the streets in West Van and were fined. Favourite run was from the top of Cypress Bowl and we often took the risk despite being caught. Density was much less those days and the unfortunate meetings between cars, pedestrians, and motorized wheelchairs seemed to be rare. Kids will be kids.

People are Fragile said...

"Likening human beings to unique breakable objects, the City of Vancouver is embarking on a campaign to educate pedestrians and cyclists about risky road behaviour."

"The city has launched a website outlining risky behaviour that can lead to accidents. The address is www.practiceroadsafety.ca"

Don't forget, longboarders too!

Anonymous said...

Apparently, according to Coast Longboarding's cavalier forum -

Subject: kid hit on skyline

"Kid's fine, he apparently just knicked the drivers license but decided to be a drama queen and get taken away in an ambulance. There goes north van"

(So Lion's Gate Emergency could confirm this for us very easily)

Anonymous said...

The longboarder in question was hit by a car on Skyline sometime on February 6th.

Anonymous said...

In the North Shore News today:

Ban longboarding lunacy
February 8, 2012

Dear Editor:

Your editorial on longboarding, Board of Education, (North Shore News, Feb. 1) ignores several important elements on this issue. One is that most members of what you call the longboarding community consistently show a complete disregard for the rights and concerns of others. Another is that the proponents of this appallingly dangerous practice must be either too young to know any better, suicidal or in it for the money.

How can there be debate or accommodation here? As someone who has to use Skyline Drive on a daily basis, I appeal to District of North Vancouver Mayor Richard Walton and his council to show leadership and concern for the safety of their citizens (including young longboarders) and ban this lunacy from our streets. What are we waiting for?

Joseph W. Hind North Vancouver

Anonymous said...

Oh the hysteria!

Anonymous said...

Since when is safety hysterical?

Anonymous said...

Safety isn't. The posters to this blog are.

Anonymous said...

Characterizing expressing concern for the life safety of our youth as hysteria diminishes you.

Anonymous said...

Longboarders are too dangerous

Longboards are dangerous and I agree they should be banned from the roads. I live in White Rock where on the many hills, boarders sail along with no concern for their own safety among the cars, let alone how a driver would feel if he hit a boarder who lost control.


My 13-year-old son has access to one (I won’t let him get his own) and he has already seriously hurt himself with terrible road rash. I feel like the “mean parent”, but I rarely allow him to borrow it, fearing he’ll lose control and dart into traffic. I know it’s an up-and-coming and “cool” sport, but I hate it.

Rae Alcock, White Rock
http://blogs.theprovince.com/2012/02/06/province-letters-teachers-shared-equity-low-taxes-adrian-dix-longboards/

Anonymous said...

Statistically, longboard/skateboard injuries are very low compared to bicycles. 70% of injuries are on bicycles , while 16% involve skateboards. So folks, why aren't you all up in arms over the dangers of bicycles? Probably because they don't offend your puritanical sensibilities the way skateboarding youth do. Get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Because the bicycling population is proportionally far far greater than longboarders and bicycles have brakes and cyclists wear helmets...and....and...

You've taken "statistics" from a total of all injuries. That skews the results.

Take the number and severity of injuries as a percentage of the longboarding (illegal vehicle) population and then as a percentage the cycling (legal vehicle) population.

The results will be predictable.

Defense of the indefensible my friend.

Anonymous said...

Weird stats. Per cent means out of 100.

If 16% of skateboard/bicycle injuries are attributed to skateboards and 70% are to bicycles what are the other 14%?

Anyway...

The cycling population encompasses everything from beginners with training wheels to seniors. There's people of both sexes cycling to work, pleasure cyclists, all sorts of kids and youth and families.

The skateboarding population appears to be mainly composed of adolescents and a few into their 20's and of that group chiefly males. A very small group.

Giving a generous 10% of the total of the group to the skateboarding (this is probably high) community and 90% to the cyclists then your stats would result in about double the chance of injury on a skateboard.

The actual figures are probably more like less than 5% S.B. and 95% cyclists which then quadruples the chances of skateboard injury.

Not smart, expensive for those footing the bills.

Anonymous said...

Lies, lies, and statistics. Boring.

Anonymous said...

Problem with stats is that you have to be smart enough to understand them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, nearly 10 days without a new topic. Lot's of other news in the local rags, yet none of it appearing here to discuss. Is this blog of any relevance any longer, or is it just a platform to post about things that peeve a small segment of District voters?

John Sharpe said...

Sorry folks,

Been a little busier than usual so the blog does suffer from a lack of new posts because I'm basically the only one who posts.

Anonymous said...

John,

The new TL strategy for the North Shore could be worth posting.

It could help a lot of people, so I am sure the commentators here will hate it lol.

Anonymous said...

When the rules of the road are followed, accidents still happen, but they are typically less severe, and less frequent. That is why we agree to be governed on such issues, because we want to reduce the societal risk and we agree that these measures will tend to support that goal without unjustifiably impeding our personal freedoms (or general efficient safe transport).

Yes I am a civil libertarian, but I still believe that it is not unreasonable for the Municipality create rules to govern safe conduct, above and beyond the motor vehicle act, for their own community.

So what is a reasonable limit?

I have no problem with commuting longboarders using bike lanes.

I have no problem with recreational boarders using 'local' or 'rural' roads during daylight hours, as long as they stay on the side of the road for their direction of travel when other vehicles are present, and they yield to people backing out of their driveways.

I do have a problem with longboarders travelling in excess of 30km/hr on roads that are not closed to traffic.

Are there other reasonable limits that will allow the sport to occur while reducing the risks to the riders and the residents?

ml

Anonymous said...

Probs is, longboarders are always breaking the rules of the road. They are 'Unsafe at Any Speed'.(with apologies to Ralph Nader)

Anonymous said...

Mike

Generally agree with you but on this one you are out to lunch.

Vehicles without brakes should not be permitted on public roads. Period.

Anything else sets us up for failure.

Skateboard bowls, barricaded cul-de-sacs, private drives etc. O.K. Public thoroughfares, no.

Anonymous said...

I realize where you are coming from, but prohibition won't really work in these cases. If it is banned, then kids will just bolt when Bylaw shows up. I was young and stupid once too , but now i'm older... ;)

A longboarder who is travelling under 30km/hr on a level road can stop as quickly as a cyclist.

Also, for carvers, I specifically used the technical road classifications of 'local' and 'rural', which tend to be cul-de-sacs, or other very low traffic count roads.

It can be conducted in a managed, relatively safe way.

A free society isn't a no-risk society.

Anonymous said...

ml (oops)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for comparing longboarders to cyclists. As we both know there is nothing that limits a longboard to a speed under 20kmh.

However, the big difference between the 2 is as follows:


Motor Vehicle Act

183

(8) A cycle operated on a highway must be equipped with a brake that will enable the person operating the cycle to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level and clean pavement.

Sensible law as is the following:

Motor Vehicle Act Regulations

Brakes required

5.01 No person shall drive or operate a vehicle upon a highway unless the vehicle is equipped with brakes and equipment as required by these regulations.

These laws need to catch up to skateboards.

Vehicles travelling without brakes down our world famous hills cannot be conducted in a managed, relatively safe way. Maybe Richmond but not N. Van.

Requiring brakes on vehicles plying our public thoroughfares won't mean the downfall of free society.

It's just common sense.

Anonymous said...

Last weekend because of all this wanting to bann long boarding I almost died! This guy jumped out right infront of me while I was going about 40km/h and I just barely missed him/ I losses my balance because of him and almost fell though. If long boarding is legalized, I wouldn't of had this problem!

Anonymous said...

Well, there we have it. A testimonial from the long boarding constituents.

If that brilliant reasoning doesn't convince you nothing will.

Anonymous said...

The Council wasn't proposing a ban.

cody Mccormick said...

its called a slide thats how they stop youtube it. You guys only say this because you dont have the ball to do it

Anonymous said...

All of you old farts do not understand the sport of longboarding. The way skaters stop is called sliding and done by making the board go sideways so the wheels skid the pavement. This might seem very dangerous yet it can be easily controlled and gets rid of speed very quickly. You have to understand that the sport is not a bunch of pot smoking teens up to no good.

Afrin said...

What kind of sick mind names a longboard a "Baby Killer"? This is one of the Rayne's newer longboard models!!!!!! Get to know longboards, with model names: Demonseed, Renegade, Avenger, Vendetta, and Hellcat. Do you still think that they will obey the rules of the road, DNV? Do you really think longboarders can be educated?

William said...

Longboard always live on in my heart, it's what got me into this game!
In my view its actually remarkable for me.
One of my favorite boards. Thanks :)

Longboardsale said...

Sorry! But this not be banned. Because most of people love this. But we can a saperate side on roads for longboarding.

William said...

As opposed to prevalent thinking, there are a few styles of longboards, every which their own attributes and points of interest. As a result of their great moves and fun ride, these surfboards have been going all through the water for a considerable length of time, and today there are four principle styles of longboards.

Johnrace said...

Longboard good for roading

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