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'Skate-bombing' ordinance passes Los Angeles City Council

August 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles city leaders crack down on reckless skateboarding, giving police more power to issue tickets. This follows the deaths of two teenage skateboarders in less than a year.

They call it "skate-bombing." You can see why watching watching YouTube videos posted by skate-bombers. Skaters barrel down hills, often running through stop signs, swerving around cars. Sometimes the skaters are even towed by cars.

"I like the rush. It feels good. My adrenaline starts pumping," said Anthony Ylauan, a local skate-bomber.

Now the Los Angeles City Council has designated a punishment for skate-bombing: a fine of up to $250, and officers can confiscate skateboards at their discretion, effective within the next 30 days.

The ordinance makes it illegal to skateboard faster than 10 miles per hour through an intersection or to ride while hanging onto a vehicle. Skaters also must stand upright on their skateboards; lying prone on the boards is no longer allowed. Councilman Joe Buscaino led the charge.

"Our objective today was to prohibit reckless skateboarding in our streets," said Buscaino. "We've seen it, we've buried two kids unfortunately, and it's a good day in the city of Los Angeles where we are sending the message that skateboarding is still allowed in the city of Los Angeles, but do it in a safe way, abide by the rules of the road."

The ordinance came after two teenagers died in less than a year in skate-bombing accidents. Michael Borojevich, 14, died in November after being injured in San Pedro. Caleb Simpson, 15, died in January from injuries suffered in a high-speed crash, also in San Pedro.

"More kids may die, so this is a big concern for the community," said San Pedro resident Jim Bray.

Bray says injuries are commonplace on the San Pedro hill where he lives.

"About a year ago, a guy ran into the back of my car, he busted his knee," said Bray. "We went to call the paramedics for him. I don't know how he got out of here, but he got back on his skateboard and he booked."


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