For Immediate Release February 9, 2006
Contact: Wade C. Teasdale
Phone: (916) 651-4038
MORROW LEGISLATION WILL PROTECT CITIES,
END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SKATEBOARDERSSACRAMENTO
"The skaters have been speaking and I've been
With those opening comments, Senator Bill Morrow (R-Carlsbad) announced
his new legislation designed to provide more complete liability
protection for local governments that build and operate public skateboard
"This bill is for the skateboarders," said
Morrow. "Senate Bill 1179 will protect local governments, encourage
building of more public skateboard parks, and expand usage of existing
parks. The bill will toss out the arbitrary age restrictions in
current law, a restriction that excludes a huge percentage of young
skateboarders from using public parks."
The North San Diego County Republican successfully
authored legislation in 1996 and 2001 that increased liability protection
for publicly owned and operated skateboard parks. Those laws contributed
to a broad-based effort to encourage building safe, accessible public
parks where skateboarders can congregate and ply their skills. But
Morrow said that much more needs to be done.
The senator said, "The earlier bills were important
steps. But, quite frankly, they are inadequate to keep up with the
growing demand, evolving demographics and other dynamic realities
of the skateboarding community. This new measure speaks directly
to those problems."
Existing law provides liability protection to public
agencies and public employees when recreational enthusiasts participate
in certain popular activities designated as "hazardous recreational
activities." The list of designated activities is contained
in Section 831.7 of the California Government Code.
SB 1179 would add skateboarding to that list of activities,
granting skateboarding what is termed as "straight HRA status."
The bill would treat skateboarding in public skateparks with the
same liability protections already afforded much riskier activities.
"We provide full HRA protection to activities such as skydiving,
hang gliding, motor vehicle racing, off-road motorcycling and body
contact sports," said Morrow. "It's ridiculous and discriminatory
to treat skateboarding as if it is more dangerous than jumping out
of an airplane at 10,000 feet."
The senator concluded, "It's time we stopped discriminating
against skateboarders, marginalizing participants in what has become
a dominant cultural activity. The State of California has an interest
in encouraging, not discouraging, participation in a creative physical
activity at well planned, responsibly designed skateboard parks."
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