2013-12-26 / Letters to the Editor

Skateboards should be allowed on town roads

As a 16-year-old desperate for a license, a car or some form of transportation to escape with, I hop aboard my penny board from time to time.

Let me explain: A penny board is a small skateboard with big wheels that provide a smooth, luxurious ride, with loose trucks that give exceptional handling to the rider.

About four months ago, I was stopped by a police officer on North Main Road, about 3 miles from my home, and was told that I couldn’t ride my board on the road. I walked home. I phoned the Jamestown Police Department to inquire why I was stopped. They never returned my call. I decided to do some research on my own and discovered that operating a “man-powered coaster device” on Rhode Island public roads is illegal.

My question is: How are helpless, license-less or car-less citizens like myself supposed to get around? Or someone who doesn’t have access to public transportation? Bicycles are legal to ride, but what if I don’t own a bicycle?

I propose a solution to the Rhode Island Senate for this unfortunate calamity: as bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet, require this same safety precaution from coaster-users but allow them to ride on public roads. This change of legislation will save citizens like myself from having to walk 5 miles into town just to get a small cheese pizza.

Rachel O’Neill

Summit Avenue

Jamestown

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