In the past two weeks, one skateboarder has died and another has been critically injured in Salt Lake County.
The casualties have prompted Sheriff Pete Hayward to instruct his deputies to warn skateboarders of the dangers and, where appropriate, perhaps even issue citations."We want to voice some deep concern about these things on the roadways," said the sheriff.
The night of Oct. 10, Tony Lee Burr, 15, was struck from behind and killed while skateboarding west on Bengal Boulevard near 23rd East.
Tuesday morning William E. Nacomuy, 7, was struck on Third North near First West while riding his skateboard to school. He was in serious condition Saturday in Primary Children's Medical Center.
Hayward said there is an increasing number of young people using skateboards in the roadways.
"We've tried to caution kids to use skateboards in designated areas - that is, anywhere but the roads."
However, there are no laws that specifically prohibit skateboards from being used on public roads.
The sheriff said his office is looking at possibly issuing "obstructing traffic" or "creating a traffic hazard" citations to skateboarders who use public roads.
"You just can't get out of the way fast enough if you have to while riding those things on the road."
Deputies are also seizing ramps that skateboards place in roads and streets.
In Salt Lake City, skateboarding has yet to present itself as a serious concern to police, said detective Kent Whitehead, who investigated Tuesday's accident.
But skateboarding safety has gained some attention recently at the University of Utah, where an administrative committee has drafted a bill to ban "tricks and acrobatic activities" involving skateboards.
If the bill is passed, skateboards would be limited to transportation purposes only and would be banned from benches, stairways, buildings and walls. Offenders would face fines and seizure of their boards.