Skaters pushing the limits

Two young girls on skateboards in Jonson Street traffic last Friday.
Two young girls on skateboards in Jonson Street traffic last Friday. Gary Chigwidden

SKATEBOARDERS know how to push the limits. Some of them push them too far when it comes to the law.

Like riding down Jonson Street, Byron Bay, dodging and weaving through traffic.

Like riding on local roads at night.

Like obstructing pedestrians on footpaths.

And like any law, when you are caught breaking it, there is a price to pay.

In the cases above, that price is a $59 fine.

Byron Bay Police supervisor Sergeant Jack Keough said there had been plenty of skaters paying up this year.

Without being able to give an exact number, Sergeant Keough said he was aware of a recent spike in the number of infringement notices handed out to skaters at Byron Bay for riding where and when they shouldn't and for causing obstruction.

He said it was an offence to ride skateboards or rollerblades on roads with a dividing line, or a median strip - like Jonson Street - or on roads at night.

While they could ride on footpaths, skateboarders had to keep to the left and to give way to pedestrians and not obstruct anyone.

In the last few weeks I have witnessed two skateboard incidents, one of which could have had a tragic outcome, the second just a blatant thumbing of the nose at motorists.

In the first incident I watched as a young boy came off his skateboard while attempting to negotiate a footpath ramp at the intersection of Keats Street and Bangalow Road.

While he looked unhurt, his skateboard flew across Bangalow Road in front of my car, forcing me to slow down to avoid it.

Luckily there were no cars immediately behind me, or cars travelling in the opposite direction.

However, it's easy to picture the scenario if the traffic were heavier.

Sergeant Keough said the growing popularity of skateboarding meant police were now keeping a closer eye on it.

As well as the possible fines already outlined, riders also faced malicious damage charges if wayward skateboards damaged property.

Topics:  fine law police skateboard

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