RICHMOND, Cache County — Marlowe Adkins remembers his close call.

"It was still dark, early in the morning, and I nearly hit two of them myself,” said Adkins, who is manager of this northern Cache County city. "They were right there in the middle of the road wearing dark clothes.”

The near miss was with skateboarders, who have become an issue in this small community. In the past year, city leaders say they’ve been hearing from residents about how skaters travel in the middle of the road without moving for traffic.

"We started getting complaints that the skateboarders were loitering on some of the corners, and as the cars would slow down and go around those corners, the skateboarders would hook on the back of the cars," Mayor Mike Hall said. "It just turned into an issue we needed to address. It became a public safety issue.”

No injuries have been reported from cars running into skateboarders, but city leaders say they don’t want to wait for an accident to happen before doing something.

"We want to make sure we’re proactive on it,” said Hall.

Wednesday night, the City Council is expected to pass a skateboarding ordinance that would require skateboarders to avoid using the middle of the road, ban "hooking” onto cars and avoid making jumps on city streets.

"This isn’t a widespread problem with a lot of our teens,” said Hall. "We just have a few that, unfortunately, we can't legislate common sense and courtesy, and because of that, we've had to address this issue."

Teenagers say the closest skate park is about 15 minutes away in Logan, and they don’t really have anywhere else to go.

"If they're worried about us being in the street, they should maybe make a skate park or something," said Zak Andrus, who says he used to skateboard all the time.

Nick Carver, another teenager who says he used to skate before getting into football, wonders if banning skateboards from the middle of the road is fair.

"I see it all the time. There are always kids riding their skateboards up and down the streets,” he said. "But, if they’re going to ban skateboards in the streets, then it’s like ban bicycles, too, if people are going to be riding them in the streets. It’s no different.”

City leaders say the ordinance is not meant to ban skateboards from city streets.

It’s only to add "teeth” from an enforcement perspective.

"We’ve had the deputy’s talk to some of these skateboarders, and it does no good,” said Adkins. "So this ordinance is a response to resident complaints. It’s an attempt to maintain safety for the kids.”


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