ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

Ok, well...

Myself, Dion and Nat were on our second run of Willy Hill this afternoon when a cop met us down the bottom. And as it turned out, he wasn't a very nice one. After telling us how stupid we are, he asked our ages and seemed delighted to find out we are all adults. He then called up another cop and proceeded to ask him how many things he could charge us with and if he could arrest us. After getting off the phone, he told us we were all under arrest and he was charging us with 'due care' (something about being reckless apparently).

Then the three of us hopped into the police car and went to the local police station. When we got there we were each individually interviewed and had our DNA, fingerprints and photos taken. Then they seized our boards, helmets, gloves, shoes, leathers, and my GoPro camera. Then after applying for bail, we were left with just our skins on sitting in separate cells until we were allowed out.

Apparently we now have a criminal record. And have to attend court late January next year.
Not sure when we get our skate gear back...but it wont be before we've been to court.

Does anyone know if this is even possible? Or are we just extremely unlucky? We've been caught on that hill before but only received a $57 fine. This has just taken it to a whole new level.

I'm a bit devastated about them taking all our stuff :( really wanted to skate this weekend haha.

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To look on the lighter side, you guys are the most notorious skaters in the country now :P
The most likely scenario is that the cops and the police commissioner will fumble their way through this and make a general embarrassment of themselves. Rather than enforce the current laws which is their job they will attempt to change the process for 1 case which the magistrate having no ability to change law or set any precedence will be generally pissed about.

The Police should leave statute law to the lawmakers as the constitution dictates and simply enforce the laws created which is their job. Anything else they try to do is outside their legal realms which any incompetent solicitor should have a field day with


Robbo said:
The Police should leave statute law to the lawmakers as the constitution dictates and simply enforce the laws created which is their job. Anything else they try to do is outside their legal realms which any incompetent solicitor should have a field day with

They probably have already done that. Any money the Police Commissioner has already met the Minister of Police, the Minister for Roads and the Attorney General to start the ball rolling on a brand new set of laws, which could spread like a plague to all states.

I see a lot of indignation on this site about the cops and their novel approach to the application of the laws.
What I don't see yet is this community discussing the development of it's own safety message, which should include planning the runs and making sure that the roads are either closed, or unused, and generally safe, and you have spotters to watch for traffic entering your stretch of road.
A simple pre-run inspection might just have uncovered the cops that were apparently already waiting.
(Are any of you guys related to Scott Rush by any chance?)

Sam Henley makes a good point about lobbying for access to roads and paths, but if you are serious about lobbying law makers for access to roads, you will need a safety message that they will want to hear, and ask for things that they can deliver on without too much expense.
I am new to longboarding and have been watching a lot of videos, from ametures, to professionally made ones from manufacturer's. Even the clips in the above news footage. What sticks in my mind almost every time is the lack of sefety and disrespect for other road users and pedestrians. IE. no safety gear, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding near pedestrians and traffic, etc. It gives the sport a bad image. I know that it looks good for the arty farty image, but it doesn't come across to others well. It looks as if you don't give a stuff about others. I know that this is not the case for the majority.
I own my own construction business and have to deal with safety every day, so I may be going over the top.
I am struggling to get my yound fella and his friends to wear helmets, gloves, and knee pads when he is bombing hills, BECAUSE they watche these videos and think it isn't cool to wear them.
So when safety is taken seriously and promoted by the majority of the community and is put into practice in every aspect of the sport, then maybe this sport will be taken seriously and given the cudos it deserves.
I think it would be a good idea to start up a group. "Skateboarding Legal" or something similar. A place where legal minds can come together to put forward proposals to legal bodies to adress the issues we face in the law not providing clear or adequate rules for our form of skateboarding. If we propose suitable and thought out regulations we are more likely to get an outcome which suits skateboarders instead of some law makers in an office creating what they feel might be appropriate. Laws can change and evolve, we should at least have influence on how these change so as to not deprive, hinder or endanger both skateboarders and other road users.

Likewise those people who are unlucky (or stupid) enough to get caught/charged for skateboarding legally/illegally can gather advice from the group.

Hell... I'll start the group now.
Thanks BJ, thought I was the only one.

Colby,
to start that journey of being heard by law makers we will need to establish a credible voice.
A good safety message would be a good place to start.

Judge,
A dead drag racer helped to get Victoria it's "Hoon" laws, where an innocent act of spinning your wheels on loose gravel or mud in a carpark can cost you your(or your mum's) car. Get caught doing it three times and they crush the car.

As to the crime and punishment thing, there are lots of laws put in place in order to protect people from their own stupidity.
Driving on the left side of the road is probably the most obvious. How safe would it be if no one had to adhere to that little gem.

I expect things might change, cause no one wants to go knocking on a door to tell someone's parents about their skateboarding off-spring coming to grief on a road.
Thats is not to say that they give a shit about any of you.
They don't! What they really don't like is having to do the world's most shit job.
"Safety" can be neatly divided into two categories - (1) the safety of yourself, and (2) the safety of others. Skating down a hill might be unsafe in terms of (1), but in terms of (2) it's far safer than driving a car down the same hill, something that virtually everybody in this society thinks is OK.

As a road user I'd much rather deal with people on skateboards than people in cars. The skateboarders might kill themselves, but the people in cars threaten to kill ME.

As for the prospect of skateboards being reclassifed as vehicles - I'd say the chances of this happening are approximately nil in the foreseeable future. I don't think it would be a bad thing though - bikes' classification as vehicles doesn't present much of a restriction on cycling.

I doubt whether the police are consciously trying to change the law here - I think it's more likely that the cop in this case was pissed off and ignorant and wanted to use a big scary charge with a big scary fine. From his perspective it doesn't matter that the charge won't stick because for Oliver et al the legal process is the punishment, and the fine is incidental.


bernie said:
Thanks BJ, thought I was the only one.
No. There are a few of us around. I went to school with 2 others in my class! Go figure. Not a name you call your sons today :)
Its hard to tell what changes laws and gets facilities. General skateboarding has never promoted safety, has encouraged the punk ideal of vandalism, rebellion and violence and has now got a clean set of facilities in almost every suburb in the country.

On the flipside all we have ever promoted is safety gear, we encourage people to have as little impact on the general community as possible. We have almost total adherence to this by almost everybody on this website and when people step out of line they are destroyed by the comments of their peers.

When car heads have illegal drag races in city streets they end up getting free time on race tracks around the country. When a skateboarder rides down a quiet country rd risking no body but themselves they often get hot headed gun loving cops that want to arrest them for an offense that is financially lower then littering, Its all very confusing.
Bernard, I know exactly what you mean but I think your looking at things from the wrong angle. Go to any photo or video on this site featuring someone without a helmet and look at the comments. The very large percentage of people here will not ride with people who do not have helmets. As far as riding with traffic, this is the problem. We have people riding and representing the country overseas (myself included) yet I have no where to ride other than public roads. I have worked as a bush fire fighter and am still a volunteer with CFS and also deal with OH&S each day. I do not want to put myself or others at risk, in fact I don't believe that I am (any more than a cyclist or a motor bike rider anyway).
The fact is we have no where else to go and this is the issue that we are trying very hard to resolve. I don't want people like your kids riding on public roads without the appropriate skills and I would like to see somewhere legal and safe(er) for your kids to practice.

The helmet comes down to you as a parent and those who are riding with them. In SA if you don't have a lid, your out until you get one. We won't ride with you. I don't know where your local scene is but I would be surprised if it's different. You need to force it on them just as much as we do with the videos and photos and make sure they are wearing a lid. Find that video of Willunga hill that the news used, which is on this site and I promise that you will be bound to find at least one comment mentioning the lack of helmets.

I hope you can realise how fantastic this scene really is and how riders do NOT support the cutting of blind corners, lack of safety gear and any other risks that are not 100% necessary.



Bernard Robinson (BJ) said:
I am new to longboarding and have been watching a lot of videos, from ametures, to professionally made ones from manufacturer's. Even the clips in the above news footage. What sticks in my mind almost every time is the lack of sefety and disrespect for other road users and pedestrians. IE. no safety gear, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding near pedestrians and traffic, etc. It gives the sport a bad image. I know that it looks good for the arty farty image, but it doesn't come across to others well. It looks as if you don't give a stuff about others. I know that this is not the case for the majority.
I own my own construction business and have to deal with safety every day, so I may be going over the top.
I am struggling to get my yound fella and his friends to wear helmets, gloves, and knee pads when he is bombing hills, BECAUSE they watche these videos and think it isn't cool to wear them.
So when safety is taken seriously and promoted by the majority of the community and is put into practice in every aspect of the sport, then maybe this sport will be taken seriously and given the cudos it deserves.
Dani, I think that you summed up ASRA's attitude by both it's organisers and participants. I have not been to one event in my couple of years around this crew where skating without a lid was allowed; and usually this stance is taken on other safety gear as well. Actually, I don't know of any other recreational group who has as much self policing in regards to not only a safe attitude towards our own selves but adherence to good social etiquette regarding others. . . the only laws that we knowingly and purposefully break are those that there is no way of enjoying our sport without breaking.

Lets face it, if you are bombing a hill, you will:
-be going faster than 50kph
-most likely be on a road that has line markings
-often be on that road at night (when there is no traffic)

In most instances, what we are doing as a result of safety breaks more laws than adhering to what we are allowed. For instance it is totally legal to bomb a sidewalk of a steep hill at 3:15pm near a primary school, wearing no helmet, yet bombing a country road at first light with a pursuit car, while adequately protected by leathers and full face helmet can (it seems) get you arrested.

My suggestion, which I think Robbo is kinda getting at, is that we be given the same rights and responsibilities as cyclists. Personally, I wouldn't mind if helmets and lights/ reflectors (at night) were compulsory. This would be a good bridge for public awareness that we are doing something that harms no-one, and can be as safe as any other form of road use, and would allow us to do what we know is as safe and publicly responsible as it possibly can be. As I see it, cyclists are not restricted from very much as long as they wear a helmet, are visible and obey the road rules. I am sure most of us here would gladly do the same if we could legally do so.



Dani said:
Bernard, I know exactly what you mean but I think your looking at things from the wrong angle. Go to any photo or video on this site featuring someone without a helmet and look at the comments. The very large percentage of people here will not ride with people who do not have helmets. As far as riding with traffic, this is the problem. We have people riding and representing the country overseas (myself included) yet I have no where to ride other than public roads. I have worked as a bush fire fighter and am still a volunteer with CFS and also deal with OH&S each day. I do not want to put myself or others at risk, in fact I don't believe that I am (any more than a cyclist or a motor bike rider anyway).
The fact is we have no where else to go and this is the issue that we are trying very hard to resolve. I don't want people like your kids riding on public roads without the appropriate skills and I would like to see somewhere legal and safe(er) for your kids to practice.

The helmet comes down to you as a parent and those who are riding with them. In SA if you don't have a lid, your out until you get one. We won't ride with you. I don't know where your local scene is but I would be surprised if it's different. You need to force it on them just as much as we do with the videos and photos and make sure they are wearing a lid. Find that video of Willunga hill that the news used, which is on this site and I promise that you will be bound to find at least one comment mentioning the lack of helmets.

I hope you can realise how fantastic this scene really is and how riders do NOT support the cutting of blind corners, lack of safety gear and any other risks that are not 100% necessary.



Bernard Robinson (BJ) said:
I am new to longboarding and have been watching a lot of videos, from ametures, to professionally made ones from manufacturer's. Even the clips in the above news footage. What sticks in my mind almost every time is the lack of sefety and disrespect for other road users and pedestrians. IE. no safety gear, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding near pedestrians and traffic, etc. It gives the sport a bad image. I know that it looks good for the arty farty image, but it doesn't come across to others well. It looks as if you don't give a stuff about others. I know that this is not the case for the majority.
I own my own construction business and have to deal with safety every day, so I may be going over the top.
I am struggling to get my yound fella and his friends to wear helmets, gloves, and knee pads when he is bombing hills, BECAUSE they watche these videos and think it isn't cool to wear them.
So when safety is taken seriously and promoted by the majority of the community and is put into practice in every aspect of the sport, then maybe this sport will be taken seriously and given the cudos it deserves.
I totally see your point Dani.
I have noticed that you guys come down on no helmets heavily. However the public doesn't see this. I know I didn't until I started to read posts on this site. Your stance on safety is what you have to promote. Very difficult if almost impossible to do. Whilst you have to put up with the idiots that do silly things. I don't mean the guys that this forum is about.
I have made the decision to find safe places for us to skate whilst we are learning. Even if we are climbing under site fences to skate new estate roads, away from cars. And I am teaching the boys to be curteous and polite to pedestrians whilst skating bike tracks.

Dani said:
Bernard, I know exactly what you mean but I think your looking at things from the wrong angle. Go to any photo or video on this site featuring someone without a helmet and look at the comments. The very large percentage of people here will not ride with people who do not have helmets. As far as riding with traffic, this is the problem. We have people riding and representing the country overseas (myself included) yet I have no where to ride other than public roads. I have worked as a bush fire fighter and am still a volunteer with CFS and also deal with OH&S each day. I do not want to put myself or others at risk, in fact I don't believe that I am (any more than a cyclist or a motor bike rider anyway).
The fact is we have no where else to go and this is the issue that we are trying very hard to resolve. I don't want people like your kids riding on public roads without the appropriate skills and I would like to see somewhere legal and safe(er) for your kids to practice.

The helmet comes down to you as a parent and those who are riding with them. In SA if you don't have a lid, your out until you get one. We won't ride with you. I don't know where your local scene is but I would be surprised if it's different. You need to force it on them just as much as we do with the videos and photos and make sure they are wearing a lid. Find that video of Willunga hill that the news used, which is on this site and I promise that you will be bound to find at least one comment mentioning the lack of helmets.

I hope you can realise how fantastic this scene really is and how riders do NOT support the cutting of blind corners, lack of safety gear and any other risks that are not 100% necessary.



Bernard Robinson (BJ) said:
I am new to longboarding and have been watching a lot of videos, from ametures, to professionally made ones from manufacturer's. Even the clips in the above news footage. What sticks in my mind almost every time is the lack of sefety and disrespect for other road users and pedestrians. IE. no safety gear, riding on the wrong side of the road, riding near pedestrians and traffic, etc. It gives the sport a bad image. I know that it looks good for the arty farty image, but it doesn't come across to others well. It looks as if you don't give a stuff about others. I know that this is not the case for the majority.
I own my own construction business and have to deal with safety every day, so I may be going over the top.
I am struggling to get my yound fella and his friends to wear helmets, gloves, and knee pads when he is bombing hills, BECAUSE they watche these videos and think it isn't cool to wear them.
So when safety is taken seriously and promoted by the majority of the community and is put into practice in every aspect of the sport, then maybe this sport will be taken seriously and given the cudos it deserves.

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