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Parenting Skateboarders

Editor,

 

The constant jawing from both sides regarding skateboarding is getting old!

 

So please allow me to add my jaws.

 

First, what happened in Laguna in the ‘60s is irrelevant. Laguna is a different place (sadly) with way more vehicular traffic. Skateboards aren’t what they were in the ‘60s, and we now have more knowledge about safety and the gear to back it up.

 

I, too, have had numerous close calls with reckless boarders, but almost daily I have close calls with rude, impatient, and distracted drivers. Forest and Beach, Beach and Ocean, Glenneyre and Cleo, Coast Highway and anywhere, etc. In almost all cases these drivers are over the age of 30, including moms with kids (like the lady furiously tailgating me as I traveled Cypress at 25 mph) and are what appear to these eyes as locals not tourists. Of course, cell phones are usually involved.

 

In an ideal world, adults would police themselves. In the real world, this is why we have police. However, children under the age of 18 are generally presumed to not have fully developed decision making skills and for this reason they have parents. It’s time for parents to realize who’s in charge, and lay down the law!

 

They may be your little angels who can do no wrong at home, but outside your watchful doting eyes it’s often another story entirely. (And anyone who thinks skateboarding will keep the little darlings from weed/drugs/alcohol has their head buried in a trough of funny Kool-Aid).

 

Skateboarders are on wheels, and should be subject to the same laws as bicyclists regarding stop signs, passing, speed, etc., with the additional requirement of helmets at least to the age of 18. Since this brouhaha began, I’ve made sure to take note and I haven’t seen one single helmet in over a month in spite of the photos both local papers choose to accompany articles on the subject.

 

We don’t need to be Nazis about it; just a bit of parenting, common sense, and basic regulation should force SNAG and their ilk to find something else to chew on!

 

Kurt Mahoney

Laguna Beach

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