The recognition of longboards as a safe, environmentally conscious and viable mode of transport.
- Local South Australian Governments, MP's and Councils
Current (South) Australian road laws state that small wheeled recreational devices (scooters, skateboards, rollerblades etc.) shall not ride on a road with a dividing line or mediun strip. Shall not ride on a road with a speed limit greater than 50KM/h. Shall not ride at night.
By following these laws it is possible for a person riding a longboard to skate down a steep footpath outside of a schoolyard, shopping mall or other busy area at anytime during the day. It does not allow a rider to skate to the local shops, work or school on the road in the same fashion that a bicycle can. Even riding in a bike lane will result in the rider receiving a fine from the police if caught.
The argument from Governments, Police, Councils and MP's have always been that the devices have no viable braking options and that speed cannot be controlled when riding on a steep area therefore do not belong on the road. Keeping in mind that a steep foot path covered in pedestrians, according to the law, is fine. Longboarders have proved over and over again that it is possible to control speed and brake, even at speeds of over 100KM/h as efficiantly, if not more so than a clyclist. Using friction the same way a skier or snowboarder would to brake almost instantly longboarders are able to ''pitch'' the board sideways as an effective method of braking. Second to this, riders are able to drop their back foot from the board and place it on the road effectively using the sole of their shoe as a brake. Top ranked riders (many from Australia) who compete all over the world as downhill racers have proven that these methods can be used effectively at extremely high speeds, yet when training for events or merely riding to the shops they are treated as criminals. Any child or teen eager to learn new skills on a board that would help him/her ride safely cannot even ride on their own street. We believe that a child, teenager or adult riding a board at jogging pace should not be treated as a criminal for doing so, with the provision that they are not slowing down traffic or putting other road users at un-necessary risk.
Starting in the near future local businesses such as Daily Grind skate and experienced local riders would strive to set up affordable classes for new riders to learn useful and practicle skills on a board. Longboarding is still a growing sport in Australia and is often regarded to as a family. Riders look out for one another, make sure that safety gear such as helmets are present and that peers ride responsibly, minimising risk to themselves and other road users. We do not wish this label or this attitude between riders to change.
We are asking for a chance to be viewed as people who enjoy their chosen mode of transport, just as cyclists do. We would try to discourage the image that people have of board riders as punks, louts and senseless teens. We would encourage a new image of board riders. An image of environmentally conscious, fit, athletic and responsible people doing what they love.
The following petition is written to aid the future progress of longboarding within South Australia.
Currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world it has been noted and legalised throughout Europe and parts of the U.S in the past few years. A fun, green and active mode of transport, the discipline of longboarding within South Australia is seeking the same rights and recognition of cyclists on public roadways and bike specific paths. Having said this, we would be bound to and have to follow the same laws that cyclists are required to.
Following future meetings with local MP's, Councils and Governments (where this petition will be utilised) local businesses such as Daily Grind skate hope to host classes for new riders focusing on the safety aspects of the sport.
We thank you for your support and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
The The recognition of longboards as a safe, environmentally conscious and viable mode of transport. petition to Local South Australian Governments, MP's and Councils was written by Daniel and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.