Opinion: Skateboarding, longboarding not as reckless as it seems

Lizzie McCreary

Abbi Pittman

Lizzie McCrearySaturday night around 9:30 p.m., Ryan Davis, senior anthropology major, received a $50 fine for skateboarding across Howard Street into the Fairfield Apartment building’s parking lot.

 

“I think it’s ridiculous that I could get charged for something I’ve been doing my whole life,” Davis said. “It’s been an ongoing issue for me and people I know.”

 

He didn’t run into a student returning home from the football game.

He didn’t ollie in front of a car, causing it to swerve and hit a telephone pole.

 

He was just riding his skateboard into the parking lot.

 

Does anyone think this is a little extreme?

 

According to the Town of Boone, “No person upon roller skates, blades, inline skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle or similar device may go upon any roadway except while crossing a street at a crosswalk.”

 

“It’s not an ordinance that is against skateboarders,” Boone Chief of Police Dana Crawford said.  “This is a safety issue.”

 

The university also prohibits the use of skateboards on campus.

 

So why is it that bicycles, which nearly cause collisions at least once a week with innocent class-goers, are legal both in the town of Boone and on Appalachian’s campus while skateboards and longboards are banned from sight?

 

The answer is simple: skateboards and longboards are clearly more reckless.

 

Or so society says.

 

In my eyes, I have a board with four wheels that is perfectly able to transport me to my class in a fraction of the time it would take to walk. I can leave the board with my backpack next to me in class, and I wear a helmet. I see it as a way to get from place to place, not a toy to be played around with in a campus parking lot.

 

It is legal to use a skateboard as a means of transportation on N.C. State University’s campus, with the exception of a 50-foot radius around campus buildings.

 

The other exception to this law is that reckless skateboarding and performing tricks are not allowed.

 

By making these exceptions, they have eliminated the portion of the skating population who would abuse the legality of skateboards. It also allows responsible students another means of transportation.

 

If Appalachian and Boone would adopt a similar law, I feel that the amount of skateboarding tickets written would drastically decrease alongside skateboarding accidents.

 

According to the Parking and Transportation Ordinances of N.C. State University, “Skateboarding is not a crime… however, acts that may endanger anyone, or that may damage any property, may be crimes, and are not considered harmless activities.”

 

Legalizing skateboarding in Boone would mean being responsible about using skateboards, and those who continue to use them recklessly will still be penalized accordingly.

 

If you’d like to help change the current situation, you can add your two cents by signing the petition.

 

It may not seem like a huge deal to most, but it is something that needs addressed and is a right that should be returned to us.

 

McCreary, a sophomore graphic design major from Huntersville, is the graphics editor.