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How many young people on boards will be killed?
There is a very serious problem on the streets of Courtenay.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 3 in the afternoon, I almost ran over a young male on a skateboard.
I had just turned onto Puntledge Road, off the Old Island Highway by Lewis Park. I was accelerating when I noticed a young male riding a skateboard in the oncoming lane, but travelling in the same direction I was driving. He was weaving back and forth.
I immediately began to slow down. Just as I was almost abreast of him, he lost control of his skateboard and, in trying to correct his direction of travel, he fell in front of my vehicle.
I was able to turn to the right and stop, maybe six feet from him. He got up and he and his two friends were laughing about the close call.
I rolled down my window and asked, "What the hell are you doing? I could have hit you!"
He replied, "You should be more careful."
I said, "Get off the road. I could have killed you."
He said, "F*** off."
I was shaken by the close call and angered by the youths' responses. I parked at the Pump House and approached the three youths and asked if they had something to say.
They told me (using more colourful language) that I should have been more careful. I told them I was going to call the police. Again, they told me to "f*** off."
At this point, I lost my temper and returned their insults in kind for a brief period before calling the police. The RCMP took my complaint seriously and spoke to a witness who knew the kids.
Later, the RCMP contacted me advising they had contacted the mother of the youth who fell. She, according to the officer who spoke with her, was not surprised, and said she would take his skateboard away AGAIN!
Something must be done about skateboards on our streets. How many more of our young people need to be killed?
We have already lost two youths on our rural roads.
Nobody should have to live with the memory of running over a person on a skateboard. I know that my close call will haunt me for a long time to come.
My suggestion is that the City of Courtenay should pass a bylaw giving the RCMP the authority to seize any skateboard being used unsafely or inappropriately on our streets. Just, maybe, the neighbouring communities will follow suite, and the province, too.