New 'thrill-seeking' longboarding trend a concern for Kings County RCMP

Nancy Kelly
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Local law enforcement are concerned that steep and winding mountain roads like highway 360 north of Berwick are becoming a favorite spot for longboard skate boarders.

Kings District RMCP Const. Blair MacMurtery shakes his head when he thinks about the potential for harm to those taking part in longboarding on local roads, especially on highways leading up the Valley’s north and south mountains.

“There is no possible way you can be safe on a wheeled device like a skateboard going up to speeds of 50-70 km/hour,” explained MacMurtery.

The latest trend in mountain longboarding came to light in a video posted recently on social media showing longboarders racing down mountain roads in Kings County.

A longboard is greater in size in both length and width than its smaller counterpart, the skateboard. It reportedly offers more stability, traction and durability. The angles at which some longboards can turn, as well as their ability to coast long distances make them more suitable for cruising on streets than regular skateboards.

“A skateboard is a skateboard,” scoffed MacMurtery “and equipment and expertise won’t matter one bit given an unpredictable set of variables.”

These variables can include potholes or objects on the road, animals or vehicles.

“If you encounter one of these, things are going to go badly,” stated MacMurtery.

He confirmed RCMP have had two official complaints about longboarders on Highway 358 to Scots Bay and Black Rock Road and they have heard it is going on in other Valley communities and on roads including highway 360 north of Berwick and Rocknotch Road south of Greenwood.

It is illegal to skateboard on roadways and the penalty for a first time offence is a fine of $147.

In his role as community policing officer for Kings District RCMP, MacMurtery says he wants to be “pro-active” in dealing with this thrill-seeking trend in order to avert any potential injury to boarders and motorists.

“The safety of boarders, bystanders and motorists is paramount,” said MacMurtery, adding there is potential for severe life-changing injuries if “this dangerous activity” goes wrong.

RCMP are asking people to call in if they witness the activity.

“If we hear about it we can get a patrol out,” said MacMurtery.  

 

 

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Kings, Scots Bay, Black Rock Road Berwick Rocknotch Road Greenwood

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Recent comments

  • Mike Miller
    June 06, 2014 - 19:45

    Leave them alone. Don't call the RCMP. We dont need more laws. Use your heads people.

    • GerryD
      June 07, 2014 - 07:06

      Laws are put in place for a reason. This one is to keep the general public safe.

  • Jennifer.M.Bruce
    June 05, 2014 - 11:15

    I am very concerned with this trend, it is dangerous(qu'elle surprise, that's why they do it.), it perpetuates the myth that the boarders are invincible and can do what they want. If legislation or more rules are introduced, the boarders will just find less accessible places to seek their thrills. God help them and their parents who have to pick up the pieces. Too sad.

  • GerryD
    June 05, 2014 - 07:36

    Stupid cannot be fixed. If longboarders persist in riding these mountain roads, there will be fatalities. The dead will be buried, their families will mourn. And thrill-seeking longboarders will likely continue their very risky activities.

  • zacc
    June 05, 2014 - 07:09

    Unpredictable variables can affect a cyclist also. Those cyclists who do choose to go down the same roads the longboarders do, often have less protection, a spandex suit and a bike helmet is little protection when compared to a fullface helmet(which is designed for impacts at and exceeding 80km/h) and a proper set of pads, or ideally, a leather suit. This is pure ignorance, in a time where other areas of the world and even some parts of our country allow longboarding (yes at these speeds and higher) the template for allowing a longboard in these types of sitiations exists already. It can be done safely, it has been for years.It's not going to go away, and the only way we can make it safer for everybody is to regulate it and educate the populace. If everyone follows the rules of the road, there should be very minimal accidents.

  • Max
    June 05, 2014 - 00:35

    >“There is no possible way you can be safe on a wheeled device like a skateboard going up to speeds of 50-70 km/hour,” explained MacMurtery. So, what you're saying is, motorcycle leathers and full face helmets are impossible? We beg to differ. Safety is our number one priority. We know our limits and ride within them. >“A skateboard is a skateboard,” scoffed MacMurtery “and equipment and expertise won’t matter one bit given an unpredictable set of variables.” Doesn't the same apply to a car or a bicycle or a motorcycle? You can only account for so many things. You try to be as safe as is humanly possible, but at the end of the day it will always be the unpredictable that puts you off guard. That seems quite obvious to me. If it were predictable, it wouldn't be an issue. If other drivers could predict moose and flat tires and black ice then those things would never cause a problem for motorists. We take as many precautions as we can, ensuring roads are not busy, free of debris and we scout the locations of potholes and parked cars. >“The safety of boarders, bystanders and motorists is paramount,” said MacMurtery, adding there is potential for severe life-changing injuries if “this dangerous activity” goes wrong. Any activity has the potential to end a life if it goes wrong. Driving gone wrong kills, drinking too much can kill, drowning in the bath tub for crying out loud. When you partake in any activity, you accept the associated risks. If the safety of boarders is paramount, that implies that there are still boarders. A bit of a catch 22 if you say you want boarders to stop, well, boarding. Our safety is clearly of no interest to you. Not a single person wishes to sit down with anyone from the community and discuss the precautions riders take. No one wants to ensure we practice our sport safely by designating roads we can ride on. Limiting us to the sidewalk puts everyone in more danger. The state of the sidewalks in this province are deplorable, they are hardly wide enough to fit a single person on them, let alone a few riders going 50+ (if that were even possible on our sidewalks). Roads are the safest place for well practiced longboarders. But all anyone wants to do is point fingers at the sport they don't understand, because it's easier than trying to find the acceptable middle ground. Prohibition never works. It only makes things more dangerous. Riders will only be pushed to ride faster, at other times of day, whenever/wherever they think they won't be seen. They are passionate about their sport. It's already illegal and it hasn't stopped them yet.

  • Max
    June 05, 2014 - 00:35

    >“There is no possible way you can be safe on a wheeled device like a skateboard going up to speeds of 50-70 km/hour,” explained MacMurtery. So, what you're saying is, motorcycle leathers and full face helmets are impossible? We beg to differ. Safety is our number one priority. We know our limits and ride within them. >“A skateboard is a skateboard,” scoffed MacMurtery “and equipment and expertise won’t matter one bit given an unpredictable set of variables.” Doesn't the same apply to a car or a bicycle or a motorcycle? You can only account for so many things. You try to be as safe as is humanly possible, but at the end of the day it will always be the unpredictable that puts you off guard. That seems quite obvious to me. If it were predictable, it wouldn't be an issue. If other drivers could predict moose and flat tires and black ice then those things would never cause a problem for motorists. We take as many precautions as we can, ensuring roads are not busy, free of debris and we scout the locations of potholes and parked cars. >“The safety of boarders, bystanders and motorists is paramount,” said MacMurtery, adding there is potential for severe life-changing injuries if “this dangerous activity” goes wrong. Any activity has the potential to end a life if it goes wrong. Driving gone wrong kills, drinking too much can kill, drowning in the bath tub for crying out loud. When you partake in any activity, you accept the associated risks. If the safety of boarders is paramount, that implies that there are still boarders. A bit of a catch 22 if you say you want boarders to stop, well, boarding. Our safety is clearly of no interest to you. Not a single person wishes to sit down with anyone from the community and discuss the precautions riders take. No one wants to ensure we practice our sport safely by designating roads we can ride on. Limiting us to the sidewalk puts everyone in more danger. The state of the sidewalks in this province are deplorable, they are hardly wide enough to fit a single person on them, let alone a few riders going 50+ (if that were even possible on our sidewalks). Roads are the safest place for well practiced longboarders. But all anyone wants to do is point fingers at the sport they don't understand, because it's easier than trying to find the acceptable middle ground. Prohibition never works. It only makes things more dangerous. Riders will only be pushed to ride faster, at other times of day, whenever/wherever they think they won't be seen. They are passionate about their sport. It's already illegal and it hasn't stopped them yet.

  • Luanne Stoddart
    June 04, 2014 - 23:27

    The amount of the possible fine really astonishes me. $147 is a small price to pay considering the consequences that could come from these actions. Then when a person who has ducks and geese free range will get charged $233.95 per animal if they so happen to set foot on the road. Where do the numbers for fines come from?!?! I would think long-boarding is much more dangerous.

    • anon
      June 05, 2014 - 10:13

      If you read it better you would notice that the $147 is for a first time offender. It goes up each time they get caught.