ACT News

Skateboard speed limits provoke footpath furore

A call to put speed limits on skateboarders has been met with criticism and a plea by the Canberra Skateboarding Association for common sense.

The second Older Persons Assembly took place recently where the ACT government sought input for its strategic plan for ageing.

Three resolutions were debated by 56 delegates who made a series of recommendations.

The first resolution related to infrastructure and included a recommendation to put speed limits on skateboarders along shared footpaths.

Canberra Skateboarding Association president Tony Caruana described the recommendation as impractical and unnecessary as existing laws were adequate.

"If there was a problem, and I don't necessarily see any evidence that there is, the solution is education and mutual respect between footpath users, not punitive measures," he said.

Advertisement

Skateboards can already be ridden on roads with no dividing line and the median strip during daylight hours.

Mr Caruana said skateboards could also be ridden on footpaths provided people kept left and gave way to pedestrians.

"Personally, most people hear me coming on the footpath and usually step aside, smile and watch me pass, and I always wave, smile and say thank you back," he said.

"But if the person doesn't see me coming or if they are an older person, a parent with a small child or someone that I think might be caught off-guard or frightened, I get off and walk around, which is what the majority of skateboarders would do.

"With a bit of common sense - on everyone's behalf - we can all get along." The Older Persons Assembly also suggested speed limits for cyclists.

Other recommendations included further development of community gardens and promoting social connections between older and younger Canberrans.

Minister for Ageing Mick Gentleman said discussions were thoughtful, invigorating and constructive.

He said the ACT government was already taking action on recommendations such as the development of age-friendly suburbs.