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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crimeboarding

Posted on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 1:36 PM

So I’m on my way to work, sun is shining grass is almost green, when I notice the whole of Agricola is blocked to traffic for some marathon or another. Sweet, I roll over to that asphalt all the motorists take for granted and feel the smooth blacktop under my wheels, ahhhhhh. Suddenly, I’m startled by a policeman who proceeds to inform me that my longboard is legislated under the motor vehicles act, so I’m counted as a pedestrian and only permitted on the sidewalk. I look at my board, look over at the myriad of joggers running down the center of Agricola, look back to him and say, “All right.” I hop back on the craggy peaks (aka the Halifax sidewalks) and think nothing more of it until today.

Today I’m on my way home from work, rolling diligently down the craggy peaks on Kempt when I’m cut off by someone in a white minivan. I hop off my board a mere two feet from a pedestrian collision. That’s when it happened… another police cruiser stopping to speak with me. Finally, at least a dressing down for one of the motorists that threatens the lives of Haligonians everyday. Instead, he begins to expound on his legal view of the situation, which was as follows:

1. A skateboard is to be used exclusively in skate parks.
2. If I were riding on the sidewalk it would be forbidden for me to cross the street with it anyway.
3. As I’m moving faster than a pedestrian (5-8km/hr at the time), I would have been at fault had there been a pedestrian collision.

Now I’m no lawyer, but even I see the flaws in these two juxtaposed viewpoints on skateboard law. I say viewpoints because they both could not possibly be right. To think that a pedestrian is "asking for it" by riding on one of these badass symbols seems a bit much. Also, there are many skateboarders around town and a thriving skate store on Quinpool. This would mean there are many police officers remiss in their duty to keep these vile dangers off the streets and in the skate parks. Not to mention all those kids on scooters and rollerblades. Man, one busy skate park.

I’m not a fighter, I’m no writer and certainly not a crusader, but I did feel an obligated to share my observations on city police policy and attention to detail. Since after all, these are the rules we live by everyday while we’re working to pay to uphold them.

C’mon guys and gals of the city police force, let’s get it right and try not to be bullies about it, Isn’t it embarrassing sometimes? —Calhoun

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