Skateboarders will be banned from going faster than 25mph as Los Angeles city councillors attempt to stop the fad of “bombing”.
“Bombing” is the practice of skating downhill at high speeds while weaving in and out of traffic.
Now, skateboarders will have to abide by the same rules as cyclists, stopping at stop signs and giving way to vehicles and pedestrians.
Councillor Joe Buscaino, who initiated the proposal, told the Los Angeles Times that the decision was in response to the deaths of two skateboarders over the past year.
They are also looking to give police the power to confiscate skateboards and to prevent young people who break the rules from hiding the information from their parents.
“The parents can go to the police station and recover the skateboard,” he said.
Diana Nave, president of the Northwest San Pedro Neighbourhood Council, praised the plans, saying skateboarders in her community have been “weaving in and out of traffic, or they have come out of nowhere because they’re moving so rapidly”.
Mike Horelick, owner of Santa Monica-based Tunnel Skateboards, said it was reasonable to expect skateboarders to stop at stop signs.
But he expressed doubts about a speed limit, noting that cyclists do not have to observe one.
“Skateboarders can’t tell exactly how fast they’re going. If you’re driving, you look at the speedometer. But if you’re a skateboarder, you’re looking at the road in front of you,” he said.
A BMW driver is threatening to sue a council if plans to reduce the speed limits on residential roads go ahead.
Lancashire County Council wants to impose a blanket speed restriction on all residential roads by 2013. The £9m plan aims to reduce the number of road deaths and injuries in the county.
But Diane Greenwood, 47, of Wolsey Close, Cleveleys, says the changes will damage her car – and the environment. She said: “My car is a two litre diesel BMW and is not designed to drive at 20mph in fourth gear which means I will have to drive in third gear.
“This will not only damage my car but will also affect the environment and cost me fortunes in extra fuel costs. If this happens I will have no alternative but to lodge a claim against Lancashire County Council for the damage to my vehicle and any extra costs incurred due to the new restrictions.”