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Skateboarders without helmets at Pine Hill skatepark will be ticketed

October 03, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Starting today, Washington Township, Pa., police will begin actively issuing citations to skateboarders not wearing helmets at the Dunlap Family Skatepark at Pine Hill Regional Recreation Area.

Estimates are that the fine set by the magisterial district judge will average about $150.

"We've given enough warning and added eight signs," Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

Also, the township supervisors have established a system to ban skateboarders who continually violate the helmet rule. A second offense results in a 90-day suspension for the skateboarder, while a third offense prompts a yearlong expulsion. A fourth offense means the skateboarder is banned for life.

Helmets are required of all people using the Mentzer Gap Road skatepark, which had a grand opening April 5.

"We just don't understand why people can't comply," Christopher said.

He said the township mailed 400 letters to skateboarders who registered to use the park. They were again reminded about helmets and the prohibition on bicycles and scooters.

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Insurance costs associated with one serious accident could lead to the skatepark being shut down, according to Christopher.

"It's important folks understand this is a health issue, a liability issue," he said.

Frequent police patrols are anticipated today and throughout the weekend.

Residents Paul and Barb Dunlap donated the money for the skatepark. They joined with township officials in encouraging youths to participate in the planning process so that the park was designed with the skateboarders' favorite pieces of equipment.

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