Sacramento – Senate Bill 1003, a measure authored by State Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee) which extends the immunity from liability that local governments receive when operating skate parks, was signed into law last night by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Skate parks are reserved areas (often in community parks) that are set aside and built for use by skateboarders and extreme sport riders who use all-wheeled, non-motorized bicycles, scooters, and wheelchairs. Locally operated skate parks offer a place for skateboarders and sport riders to enjoy their sport and hone their skills. Before the advent of skate parks, some skateboarders and sport riders would resort to using public streets, parking lots, and sidewalks, which endangers themselves and others, as well as causing property damage.
While previously serving in the Assembly, Jones authored Assembly Bill 1146 (in 2015), which provided a four-year immunity window for municipally operated skate parks. The law has been successful and the County of San Diego, which operates the highly acclaimed Lakeside Skatepark, requested that Jones author legislation this year to make the immunity permanent.
“Senate Bill 1003 grants much-needed immunity from liability for communities that operate skate parks,” stated Senator Brian Jones. “Local skateboarders and sport riders get a safer place than the streets to carve, do McTwists, or ollies, and taxpayers are not going to be liable for the occasional mishap that is inherent to all active sports.”
Jones’s SB 1003 was sponsored by the County of San Diego, and as an urgency measure, it goes into effect immediately. The bill was co-authored by Senators Pat Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), who both also represent parts of San Diego County, and Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) from northern California.