Stop the gambles

Published 10:41 am Friday, July 5, 2013

It has been a week of unusual accident news. A deer bolted onto Interstate 90 near the 28th Street ramp on Monday afternoon and knocked over an eastbound motorcyclist. Less than a day earlier, a skateboarder had coasted into an Austin intersection and slammed into a car. The former accident, while odd, was probably unpreventable. The latter was utterly avoidable.

Anyone who has driven Austin’s streets knows riders on long skateboards have for the past few years regularly put themselves into harm’s way by drifting down the middle of streets — sometimes on pitch black nights. That nobody has been seriously injured is either a miracle or a testament to the alertness of most Austin drivers — or both. But when riders are so heedless as to cruise right into an intersection, it’s obviously time for a change.

We grant that few reckless riders are likely to read or heed this editorial. But we have hopes that at least a few parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or more-responsible siblings will encourage skateboarders to use better judgment. Gambling that every driver will have his or her eyes wide open is a bad bet, and someone is likely to be badly hurt soon unless boarders learn to share the road.

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