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Councilman Joe Buscaino says he was inspired to ban reckless skateboarding after two people in his district died in skateboarding incidents. The new ordinance, which was unanimously approved by the LA City Council Tuesday, prohibits reckless speed, and bans boarders from speeding through intersections, violating stop signs and towing. Chuck Henry reports for the NBC4 News at Midnight on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A new ordinance banning skateboarders from charging down steep hills, commonly known as “bombing,” was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday.
Councilman Joe Buscaino, who wrote the law, says he doesn't want to discourage exercise, fun or alternative modes of transportation but after two teenagers died in his district in skateboard incidents, he says he wants to keep people safe.
"What we've done today is prohibit reckless skateboarding," Buscaino said. "We're asking those who want to skateboard in the city to abide by the rules of the road, to go with the flow of the traffic, to stop at the stop sign, to stop at the red light and be safe."
YouTube videos give a peek into the high-velocity activity, showing boarders hurtling down inclines, occasionally hooking up with cars or bikes and sometimes blowing through stop signs or red lights.
"The practice is getting to the point where it’s getting out of control," said Officer Eve White, of the Los Angeles Police Department, testifying before City Council on Tuesday.
Skateboarding in San Pedro seems to be particularly dangerous on the steep hills of the port city.
"I see them going down that street right there," said San Pedro resident Mary Lou Fentis. "Oh my gosh."
The law, in part, prohibits reckless speed, and bans boarders from speeding through intersections, violating stop signs and towing. Also, there will be no more lying prone on the board, a practice that increases speed while limiting awareness.