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Inline Skating and the Law

Here's the latest Planet news on the legal status of inline skates:

March 6, 2007
Knee Jerk Ordinance
It's the same old story, just a different town: Skateboarders in Ralston, OK, practice their stunts downtown. That irritates business owners, who say the kids damage their property. In response, the town is considering a law banning all skating, including inline, downtown.
Go to Recorder story.
Read about similar cases.

July 5, 2006
Reno May Allow Skating Downtown
City councilors in Reno, Nev., are considering loosening up their prohibition against skating downtown. They are scheduled to vote today on a proposal that would allow skating in the downtown business district along the Truckee River.
- Go to Reno newspaper story.

Unbanning Skates at San Jose State

Officials at San Jose State University are considering reversing their ban of inline skates on campus. Safety concerns led to the skate ban 16 years ago. But these days the college wants to promote non-polluting forms of transportation. "As long as students follow common sense, it will work," one official said. ... Go to Spartan Daily story ... more news about skate laws. May 23, 2006

Missouri Town Bans Skating - This appears to be another one of those unfortunate situations in which a town passes a law based on the misbehavior of a few of its citizens. ... We talked to Ava's police chief about it. He accused us of trying to start an argument ... which we would certainly be willing to do if it would help. (Go to the Planet story.) (Jan. 20, 2006)

Iowa Town Mulls Downtown Skate Ban - The central Iowa town of Eagle Grove is considering an ordinance that would ban rollerblading, skateboarding and bicycling downtown. Click here to send the town an email opposing the ban. You might want to suggest that instead the town enforce existing laws against vandalism. (Go to the Planet's skate law department.) (Oct. 21, 2005)

Pa. Town Dumps Proposed Skating Ban - New Cumberland, Pa., has rejected the idea of banning skating from streets and parks. The borough proposed the ban as a way to prevent skaters -- mainly skate boarders -- from damaging property and causing disturbances in the downtown business district. But residents said the proposal (which would have banned skateboards, roller skates, inline skates and scooters) was overly broad and restrictive. ... Council members say tougher enforcement of existing laws should address the borough's problem. (Go to story about proposed ban at Penn Live.) (Sept. 29, 2005)

New Hampshire Town Mulls Skating Ban for Downtown - Apparently, some skateboarders in Somersworth, New Hampshire, have been acting badly (although it's not clear exactly what they've done wrong.) As a result, the town of 11,000 is considering a ban of skateboards, inline skates and scooters for downtown sidewalks. The proposed ordinance would give police the authority to levy fines of as much as $100 and to confiscate equipment. It would also prevent law-abiding, respectful skaters from using downtown sidewalks! ... This is another example of an overly broad anti-skating law! (Here's a story about the proposed ban.) (And here's Mayor McLin's email if you want to voice your opinion. Just remember the ban wasn't his idea!) (July 25, 2005)

Don't Even Think About Skating in This Town ... Residents of Clear Springs, Md., were complaining about skateboarders. So they decided -- while they were at it -- to ban inline skaters, too. No, it doesn't make much sense. ... Here's what the mayor has to say about it.

A Sampler of Skating Laws in the USA ... Some cities have sensible skating laws. Some have draconian laws based on antiquated or misinformed notions of inline skating. Take a look.

How to Fight a Skating Ticket - And Win! ... Someday, you may run into a police officer who wants to write you a ticket for skating under an antiquated law intended to keep "toy vehicles" out of the street. Fight that ticket! Inline skates may be fun. But they are not toys!

Editor's note:

Skating and the Law
The young sport of inline skating has a tenuous relationship with the law. In some places, inline skates are classified as "toys" and prohibited from roadways, although the prohibition is rarely enforced. In other places (mostly small towns), over-zealous lawmakers have banned inline skates, usually in an attempt to prevent aggressive skaters from "grinding" public property.


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