Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What are the SA/CPT laws around Skateboarding?

Quinn and his friends have become avid skate/longboarders around our little neighbourhood - in quiet cul-de-sac roads.

I have watched them, and other similar groups in the area and none of them behave badly or thuggish at all, and are just going about their business as boarding enthusiasts. At very worst they'll be in a largish group -of 5-10 - but again not even making a noise or being disruptive other than being on their boards and marginally en-force. (Someone prejudiced might assume they are up to no good, but they really aren't!) Sure they are on the roads, but they are pretty quiet roads and they defer to cars when they approach. Someone keeps a look out usually and then they move if a car arrives and they put up a hand in a gesture to say hi and/or apologize for being in the way. Most people smile and wave.

The ADT guys like them and always wave and say hi etc and most of the regular old folks we know who walk their dogs chat and ask them how they are getting on etc. SO I REALLY don't think they are doing anything wrong.

BUT there are 2-3 people down near the park who have started causing issues and who come out and hassle them and tell them it is illegal to skateboard on the road and keep threatening to call the cops on them!? REALLY? 

So is it 'illegal' in any way. Are there regulations around this? I am happy to defend them and help them stand their ground, but I want to know if there are any actual laws in force..?

I have also made a point of telling Quinn to always be polite and respectful. Even (or especially) to people being rude and unreasonable to them, to ensure they stay in the right and that no one has any real cause to take issue with them.

It's really annoying though because they are focused and getting fresh air and exercise and are getting quite fit and toned and now they are being harassed and treated like gangsters and it's really unfair. :evil: 


I have now found this info:

Firstly, and most important, the City of Cape Town, like most big cities, has banned skateboarding on its streets. The relevant bylaw says quite clearly that no person shall:

on a public road skate on roller-skates or a skate-board or similar device except where permitted by the City;

The City is understandably disinclined to so permit. On special occasions the road from Kloof Nek to Clifton has been closed for the daredevils of the skating community. Elsewhere there is little evidence of accommodation of skateboarding except for competitions and events. Practising for these is of course necessary, but virtually impossible legally speaking.

Prohibiting skateboarding has consequences. It is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment or both. While law enforcement on roads is conspicuously emaciated in general, in respect of the skateboarding offence it is non-existent. Complaints about skateboarding activities, if reacted to at all, are usually tactfully handled with a stern: "Cool it for a while you are irritating Mother Grundy" and no other action from the metro police, who seem to have a surprisingly "live and let live" kind of attitude.

This is however not the end of the matter.

Should, heaven forbid, an illegal skateboarder come to grief and injure himself then the medical aid schemes are entitled to refuse to pay the costs of medical care which may be required. Should his negligence cause loss, damage or injury to a third party - for example a fellow skateboarder or a skittish motorist who ends up in the ditch when surprised by a massed ensemble of flying helmets - then the all risks insurers who may be involved will be entitled to decline claims on the basis that an illegal activity is not covered under policy exceptions or exemptions which disallow claims that arise in such circumstances. ...

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