Friday, July 23, 2010

Longboarders defend speeding on New Zealand motorway

A group of downhill skateboarders, who sped down the Waikato Expressway at speeds of 100 kilometres an hour, are defending their sport after police described their actions as "idiotic". The group filmed themselves longboarding at high speed alongside traffic on the Waikato Expressway, down the Bombay Hills, south of Auckland.

They said the video posted on the internet shows experienced riders on specialist longboards. It is believed the riders were promoting a brand of longboard, described as the "mountain bike of skateboards". The video shows the skaters bending into aerodynamic positions, with one rider accelerating in the slipstream behind a truck then overtaking it, reaching speeds of 100 kilometres an hour.

"We never set out to cause trouble to traffic or to ourselves," said longboarder Jestah Carnie. But Counties Manukau road policing manager, Heather Wells, said there is no room for that kind of activity on our roads. "It's absolutely dangerous - it is. They are idiots doing it in a place like that," Wells said.

"It's dangerous not only for them, but for the other motorists on the road. They could've easily killed themselves." The skateboarders do say they would prefer a hill without any traffic. "(But) we cannot, as a group, afford the tens of thousands of dollars it's going to cost to close a road," said Carnie.

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