Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too close encounter

It’s not that I dislike skateboarding, or even skateboarders for that matter. It’s just that I do NOT want to hurt or kill anybody. I don’t want my husband, my teenage sons, my neighbors or friends killing or hurting anybody, either. But something terrible COULD happen to one of those downhill skaters if something isn’t done to stop them.

He's going the speed limit?
Yesterday, driving up Temple Hills Drive around 5pm, I had just come around the hairpin turn and was continuing up the hill. Right past Cerritos Drive, 2 downhill skaters came screaming around the corner. No joke, I’m sure they must have been going about 50 mph. They were going so fast, that when they passed me, the wheels of their skateboards made a sickeningly weird whizzing sound as they went by. Luckily, I was not distracted, and was driving fairly slowly, because one of the boys then swerved into my lane, right in front of me! He then reached for his buddy’s hand to help pull him back to the other side of the double yellow lines. His friend could not grab hold, but somehow he veered back into his own lane. I was able to stop and wait until they got back under control, but with a car right behind me and a car following the two downhillers at a very close distance, the whole event had me pretty rattled. There are so many things that could have gone wrong. In that split second, there could have been many lives that might have been changed. Forever.

So, this brings up several questions in the case of an accident where one of these kids are hurt, or, I hate to even say it, killed. Am I, as the driver liable, even though there is nothing that I could have done differently? Is the city liable if they vote not to place a ban on downhill skating? And, these parents who allow and even encourage their kids to fly down our hills, do they know how unsafe it really is?

Not a good decision.
I mean they are kids, and kids don’t always have the ability to make rational decisions. Do the parents of the kids I had my encounter with yesterday know how close a call their sons just had? And, after the recent win at the last traffic and circulation meeting, are these kids feeling overly confident, even emboldened?

I truly believe that we have got to place a ban and/or firm restrictions on downhill skateboarding. The combination of cars and these kids traveling on the same streets at the same time just doesn’t work. It’s not about depriving the kids of their fun, it’s about protecting, and keeping our kids safe.


  1. Thank goodness your experience yesterday didn't turn out as it could have. Seems like it's just a matter of time.

    Can they be ticketed and fined for driving to endanger or reckless endagerment? I'd have followed those brats and c=gotten some contact info... Yeah, after I pulled my heart out of my throat and stopped shaking...

  2. this has been a really controversial topic here in laguna. it's completely upsetting because i know a lot of the kids and their parents. the anti government folks seem to think that you shouldn't restrict people from doing what the love. the issue will be going to city council in november i think. hopefully a ban or very strict restrictions will be put in place. but the people who think like me, seem to be a minority.

  3. Wow, this is scary. I didn't hurt myself badly till I was 30 years old. I wish I had just taken a minute to think about it. But if you don't have an accident you think you're immortal. It's a tough situation and I hope they at least wear pads and helmets.

  4. pa, yes, most of them at least wear helmets and pads, but not all of them. this is a growing sport, and i think the older kids think that they are immortal! i remember thinking that when i was their age, too. but that's one of the points i was trying to make. they are kids, and don't always think in their own best interest. and although their parents are teaching them to be good citizens of their community, it doesn't always stick with them as they're bombing the hills!