Driving tests

Can you ride a skateboard on the road?

Are cars and vans the only four-wheeled vehicles allowed on the road, or are you allowed to ride a skateboard?

Foot- and gravity-powered skateboards, scooters and skates

You are allowed to use these on the road (unless expressly forbidden) but you must observe the Road Code if you are on the road itself, and stay as far left as possible without endangering yourself. Times when you may ride slightly further to the right are if there are drainage grates, puddles or other debris, or you are riding past parked cars and there is a risk that one might open its door in front of you. You may not exceed the speed limit.

You can also ride them on a footpath, but you must give way to pedestrians and driver of mobility vehicles, must not ride at a speed which puts other footpath users at risk, and you must be considerate of other users of the footpath. Skateboarders should be especially aware of drivers exiting driveways.

It’s strongly suggested that you wear a helmet and other body protection as a collision with another vehicle or a fall at high speed will almost certainly result in injury to you if you are not. Protective equipment includes gloves, wrist guards and pads to protect your knees and elbows. Learn to fall properly on softer surfaces like grass.

So, for drivers, this means that if a person on a skateboard is on the road that they have the similar road rights as you do, even though they do not need to pay any road registration. On hills when a skateboard is likely to pick up speed, ensure you give them enough room in case they get speed wobbles or need to slide to lose speed.

 

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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