Skate Law:

Missouri Town Bans Skating on Streets and Sidewalks

Only Places Left to Skate in Ava Are Driveways and Parking Lots

By Robert "Just the Factoids" Burnson

To the list of towns where skating is not allowed, add another: Ava, Missouri.

A couple weeks ago, the southern Missouri town banned skating on the street.

Earlier, the town banned skating on the sidewalks. So now, the only place left to skate in this town of 3000 is on public property.

The town instituted the ban (which includes skates, skateboards, scooters and motorized bicycles) ostensibly to protect citizens from injuries and hold down the cost of liability insurance.

But the ban appears to have been inspired by a police situation that the town couldn't handle.

Police Chief Larry Smith, the author of the law, said his office was getting complaints about skaters (by which he may have meant skateboarders) obstructing traffic.

"They were blocking streets at different times," he told the Planet. "And they wouldn't get out of the street when cars were coming."

So why not simply ticket the misbehaving skaters?

When asked, the chief accused the Planet of trying to start an argument.

After receiving a good scolding, the Planet asked the chief another question:

Do you ever get complaints about people driving too fast on the streets?

"Yes, sir," the chief said.

So are you going to ban driving?

"You are just trying to start an argument again," the chief said.

"We haven't banned inline skating. We have only said they [skaters] cannot skate on sidewalks and streets. ... We have made it a safer sport for them, is what we have done."

(Thanks, chief, but that kind of help, we don't need!)

(Add your comments here!)

(Posted on Jan. 20, 2006)



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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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