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Ask A Cop: Skateboard regulations questioned

Editor’s note: Every week a Lake Oswego police officer answers your questions in this space. Send questions to Reporter Cliff Newell at cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com or call him at 503 636-1281, ext 105.

“We just moved to Lake Oswego and my son is a skateboarder. What are the laws pertaining to skateboards?”

Every person operating a skateboard within the city of Lake Oswego shall comply with the following regulations under the city of Lake Oswego Uniform Traffic Code section 32.10.601.

It is important to understand these regulations. These regulations are in place to ensure safety for those who skateboard and those who do not. The highest number of complaints are generated in areas that have a high volume of foot traffic and places where skateboarding is prohibited.

1. Skateboarders must yield the right of way on sidewalks, pathways and streets: A rider shall yield the right of way to pedestrians on sidewalks, to pedestrians and bicycles on the pathways and to pedestrians, bicycles and motor vehicles on the streets.

2. Operating a skateboard on nonresidential streets at night is prohibited: No person shall operate a skateboard on streets in nonresidential zones between dusk and dawn, or in other low-visibility situations such as fog.

3. Operating a skateboard in designated areas prohibited. No person shall operate a skateboard on any pathway, sidewalk or street within an area where operation of a skateboard is prohibited by designation of the city manager and where the prohibition is posted so as to clearly mark the location of the designated area. The city manager may specify certain times when operation of skateboards is prohibited within the designated area, in which time limitations shall also be posted.

4. Hazardous riding prohibited: No person shall operate a skateboard on any street, pathway or sidewalk in any manner that would create a traffic hazard or is otherwise reasonably likely to result in harm to a person or property.

5. Permitting unsafe or unlawful operation by another: No parent, lawful guardian or other person lawfully charged with the care or custody of a child under the age of 18 shall knowingly permit the unlawful operation of a skateboard or the operation of a skateboard by a person lacking the physical or mental judgment or maturity to operate the skateboard in a reasonably safe and careful manner without creating an unreasonable hazard to the operator of the skateboard or others.

6. Riding on posted private property prohibited: No person shall operate a skateboard on any public or private property, driveway or parking area that is posted with a “No Skateboarding” sign.

7. If a citation is issued, a copy of any citation issued for a violation of this code by a person under 18 years of age shall be mailed to the parents or guardians of the cited person at their home address, if known.

8. A police officer who has probable cause to believe a skateboard has been used in violation of this code may, upon issuing a citation for the violation, seize the skateboard as evidence and hold it until the disposition of the charge. Violation of this city code is a Class C infraction.

I hope this helps in familiarizing you with the city of Lake Oswego code governing skateboarding.by:   - Brent Please stay safe and when skateboarding; please wear protective equipment. I have been on several skateboard roadway crashes in which the rider lost control of their board and had an impact with the pavement. We want skateboarders to have a long, healthy skating career. One way for that not to happen is by not wearing your protective gear. I even skateboarded a few years back and still have several friends who currently longboard. Remember when you skate to please be courteous, as you know from reading above you can be cited and your skateboard can be confiscated.

— Officer John Brent, Lake Oswego Police Department

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