11/20 - The Petition is now closed.
We received over signatures!
UPDATE 9/15 - This repeal got so messed
up you would not believe! I've never seen a bunch of unsmart people
in my life! The bill got twisted up and has been signed into effect
which means skateboarders will be plagued with the skatepark helmet
and pad laws extending until 2012. Anyway, the fight is not over.
The petition is still good through November and ongoing and with
Morrow out of office now and hopefully others who sabataged it will
butt out and we can really get on with it. Please help spread the
word about the petition. It's rapidly approaching 6,000 signatures!
Find out who your Senator is http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp
and write asking to repeal the skatepark helmet and pad law, Now
to Repeal Calilfornia SB 1179
UPDATE 8/3 - NOTE: I have removed the
Tony Hawk Foundation from the below list. It has been confirmed
that Tony personally supported the REPEAL of SB 994 in the beginning,
not it's continuation until 2012. Some tricky politics are being
played for sure. It's likely that more of the supporters they show
are actually not in support of the newly revised bill. It strikes
me very odd that I originated this repeal and they don't show me
as a supporter? Pretty funny. Tricky politics!
UPDATE: 6/28 - Senator Morrow has let
SB 1179 (which is now NOT a repeal, but extending the current legislation
including helmet and pad laws for California) go through. It was
voted by the Assembly Judiciary committee yesterday to be put on
the consent calendar in the general Assembly which will happen real
soon. Normally, items on the consent calendar do not get heard by
the entire Assembly if there are no opposers. There ARE opposers
but they are not listing them. Some of the groups who jumped on
board after the bill was introduced have NOT withdrawn their support
of the now changed bill and appear on record to SUPPORT it's new
meaning. Those groups are:
California Association of Joint Powers
California State Association of Counties
City of Arcadia
City of Concord
City of Diamond Bar
City of Laguna Hills
City of Lake Forest
City of Moreno Valley
City of Palm Desert
City of Santa Barbara
Civil Justice Association of California
International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC)
League of California Cities
Mayor of the City of Concord
The analysis does not show any opposers,
although myself and 4,900 of you on my petition have expressed opposition.
SPAUSA has openly withdrawn support in light of the totally revised
text, yet is not shown as opposing it. I understand The Tony Hawk
Foundation does not involve themselves politically or endorse legislation,
(but, I understand Tony personally supported the bill (repeal) in
its original form while in the Senate) yet the Tony Hawk Foundation
is listed as supporting the new bill. This is way out of context.
Wow, somebody really wants this bill to pass just to pass, hell
with what does to skateboarders. Typical when an author is running
for office. What it does is keep skateboarders harassed and ticketed
in skateparks, thus driving them away where they are getting killed
one per week skateboarding outside of skateparks.
Except for Concord, these are all So.
Cal. entities. Are they seriously believing the scare tactic IASC
is putting out again that all the California skateparks will be
bulldozed if this bill isn't on the books? There was never that
threat to any parks I know of, certainly none in Nor. Cal., and
I can't find anyone who will actually confirm this is true. Can
anyone tell me even one skatepark that was built because only because
SB 994 is on the books? Can anyone name even one skatepark that
stated it would close if this bill isn't on the books? Am I seeing
that list before my eyes on the list above?
Anyway, all these questions and mysteries
will not go unaddressed, I promise, especially why Senator Morrow
did not stay on the side of the skateboarders he led us to believe
he was on. He had opportunity to pull out and let the bill sunset,
like it should have 3 years ago when he pushed it through AGAIN!
In the meantime, this is the last chance to show your OPPOSITION
to SB 1179 or it will just extend the current law until 2012.
WRITE TO YOUR ASSEMBLYMEMBER ASAP and
Governor Arnold who will ultimately approve or disapprove this bill.
He needs to know the truth behind it.
To find your Assemblymember go here and
click on "Find My District."
Also, write letters to your local press.
UPDATE: 6/10 - At the last minute at the
hearing, Senator Morrow changed the bill text to lower the arbitrary
age liability limit to 12, and to extend SB 996 through 2012. This
is nowhere even close to dealing with the problems of the helmet
and pad laws, and does not answer to the demands of our petition
to say the least. So, it passed and was sent on to the Assembly
for approval. The Assembly will hold a hearing on the bill this
Tuesday, June 13th. Please contact the Assembly Judiciary Committee
and express your dissatisfaction with the new text and ask them
to veto SB 1179 and let SB 996 sunset in 2007. http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/newcomframeset.asp?committee=15
Due to the short notice, you might want
to call the committee at the number on the link to express your
concerns. It's not that confusing really, and this issue needs the
support of a ton of skaters. Mob rules in this democracy, so get
on it as it will have a dramatic effect on all skateboarders.
UPDATE: 5/17 - The bill has been changed,
the only changes are lowering the age limit for liability, and extending
the bill another 4 years through 2012. The best advice I can give
at this point is for skaters to write or call your immediate State
Senate Reps, and State Assembly Reps (Not Congress) and ask them
to veto Morrow's SB 1176. Ask them to repeal or let SB 994 sunset
and explain the problems you have with the helmet and pad law and
ticketing. Democrats are likely to be more receptive to skateboarders
and have majority rule, but it's important that you write to the
senators and assemblypersons who represent you according to where
find your rep: http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp
5/3/06 - Kooked out. They win; I'm out.
The bill has no chance of passing the way it's being handled. The
hearing will be May 9th at 1:30 pm Rm 112, state capitol. Sorry,
skateboarders, I tried. It was looking good the way it worked out,
until kooks tried to take credit for what I was doing. A good story
will come out of this though! Inquiring minds want to know. Stay
tuned to my tabloid. Did I mention kooks?
4/10/06 DON'T KILL THE BILL! - Some industry
members and their representatives are putting out press that contains
false information concerning SB 994 and SB 1179 that I feel will
be detrimental to our repeal. It misrepresents the bill entirely.
I encourage you to NOT use form letters. There are some posts on
some skate forums that also have misinformation and misguidance;
please make sure you are well informed on the issue of SB 1179 before
contacting Senators or it can have a very adverse effect.
Right now the bill is kind of stalled
in-process in the Jucidiary Committee. As soon as it gets moving
again, I will post a notice here and let everyone know what's up.
Thanks to everyone who has offered to help.
If anyone would like to help with a letterwriting
campaign, please contact me and I will help you identify your California
State Senator representative and help you compose an original letter.
clarkie (at) realskate (dot) com
Surf News - Senate bill aims to lift helmet rules at skateparks
Cruz Sentinel - Senate bill aims to lift helmet rules at skateparks
Morrow's Office - Press Release 2/9/06
Senator Morrow, in response to seeing
our petition met all the petition's demands to repeal SB 994, Repeal
H&S 115800, and add skateboarding to the HRA list GC 831.7 (see
the text of these bills below) and introduced SB
1179 to the Senate floor on 1/17/06.
Aggie - "Skaters Challenge California's Helmet and Pad Law"
An interview with Dick Guthrie of So. Cal. Skatepark Coalition,
and John Bernards from IASC and yours truly. It gives an accurate
account of what those two organizations want for skateboarding,
and answers the question why they would not work with me though
I am a member of SCSC. Helmets!
Please sign our Petition!
Before you read on, please understand
this does not mean we are against wearing helmets. In our
opinion this law was never about safety. Injury statistics in skateparks
do not support a state law or health and safety code just for skateboarding.
We believe it should be an individual or family choice and that
nobody should be fined or arrested for their choice not to wear
safety gear. The law never included skateboarding on the Hazardous
Recreational List as we were led to believe. We understand the HRA
status is all that's needed to free public parks of liabilities,
if that ever really was an issue. Please click link for more history
and please sign the petition to help bring some fairness and equal
rights to skateboarders. 11/10/05
Special thanks to Heidi Lemmon and Jeff
Greenwood for their support. Thanks to all the skate mags, organizations,
and websites for their support by offering free space, newsletters,
and for hosting notices on their forums:
Paying in Pain
UC Davis Aggie
Fun Not Fame Productions
World Cup Skateboarding
So. Cal. Skateparks.com
If I missed anybody, please contact me
and your name will go here and also on the petition cover letter.
Please support skateboarders by
signing the petitions:
California Repeal and add HRA
Perhaps the biggest injustice, in my opinion, ever
imposed on skateboarders was this California law apparently initiated
by IASC, a nonprofit group of skateboarding for-profit manufacturers.
We were under the impression we had to support it or skateparks
would close and no new parks would be built without a law to protect
cities from injury liability lawsuits. Although a skateboarder suing
a city over an injury in a skatepark was unheard of and still is,
and injuries were minimal, we assumed it would be cool to put skateboarding
on the "hazardous recreational activity" (HRA) list if
it meant cities would be exempt from lawsuits arising from injuries.
It never made it to that list. Instead we got a helmet
and pad law with restrictions. It has an age restriction, 14 and
under are not covered under the "protection" of the law,
covered skaters only while doing a trick, some confusing language
on supervised or unsupervised parks, forced all California cities
to draw up an ordinance and post it at all parks, and left nebulous
whether or not to enforce it or just post a sign. However, no sports
on the HRA list have any gear stipulations. It also does not allow
immunity if there is a fee for performing a hazardous recreational
activity on public property. There are a lot of competitions with
entry fees, and also several cities in So. Cal. have been charging
admission and membership fees at public skateparks.
IASC and So. Cal. Skatepark Coalition claims to be
working with Senator Morrow on rewriting SB 994 proposing to get
pads only removed. Both groups support helmet requirements. To me
it's NOT GOOD ENOUGH to rewrite the law, just remove pads, or just
add to the HRA list without removing the conflicting law. With the
law still on the books, we will be right back where we started,
with cities in total confusion whether or not to enforce the law
resulting in stiff fines and the beginning of a criminal record
for skaters who prefer not to wear helmets at skateparks. I tried
to work with them as a paid member of So. Cal. Skatepark Coalition
but was ignored. Thus taking it upon myself to start the repeal
Another unfortunate matter is that other states put
forth similar laws following California assuming it was supported
by the skateboarders and cities. It was not. An Internet search
will show all the media attention stating that skateboarding was
put on the HRA list. It was not.
It has been questionable if cities ever really were
protected and exempt from injury liability under SB 994 and H &
S 115800 since there were no records of liability lawsuits by skateboarders
at a skatepark. And lawyers said it was too poorly written. Actually
there was one case here in Santa Cruz County that SB 994 did not
protect and the County was successfully sued for negligence. SB
994 failed to protect the County as it was proven the kid was traveling
and not doing a "trick." If skateboarding had been on
the HRA list, the lawsuit would not have occurred.
And injuries have been low; mostly affecting ankles,
wrists and arms. The State Judicial Council sent me skatepark injury
statistics reported by California cities pursuant to SB 994 (see
below) and they are very minor injuries. Reports included years
2001 and 2002. In 2003 and 2004 no injury reports were reported
to the Judicial Council. Their research included not only injuries
but lawsuits and there were none.
Please help to repeal SB 994 and Health & Safety
Code 115800 and amend Government Code 831.7 (HRA list) to include
skateboarding. Let skateboarders skate freely in the parks a lot
of them fought very hard to get, raised money and donated time at
city council meetings for many many years. Let skateboarders and
parents make their own protective gear choices as is done with other
sports even those with exceedingly higher injury rates triple those
of skateboarding. No other sport has a gear requirement enforced
by the COPs!
As for now, it's not how many signatures
we get on the petition, but how many Senators we will get to support
it and write a bill. Please write to your Senator. Find out how
to do that here http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp
click on "Your Senator" to find out who represents
you. Remind them how many skateboarders are of voting age!
1296 - The first Morrow law as passed in the Assembly
994 - The amended law that extends to 2008
& S 115800 - The Health and Safety Code added specifically
to make helmet and pad rules for skateboarders in skateparks.
831.7 - The "Hazardous Recreational Activity"
1924 - Vehicle code adding skateboarding to the bicycle
code requiring helmets be worn by those age 17 and under on roadways
and bike paths. This repeal does not affect this
law, I just put it here because there is also a lot of confusion
concerning it and who and where it covers. Again the media interpreted
it as a law that whereever you skate if you are 17 and under and
on a skateboard you must be wearing a helmet. This law had nothing
to do with skateparks or other public property other than roads
and bikeways. It actually had nothing to do with skateboarding.
It was proposed by some So. Cal. children after one of their classmates
was killed crossing the street on a scooter. It is a vehicle code
and only applies to roads and bikeways, Real Skate approves of this