In the summer of 2018, the appearance of Bird and Lime scooters on campus and across Southern California reinvigorated the campus discussion regarding the use and regulation of all types of wheeled devices on the UCR campus, to include skateboards, scooters and bicycles.
The most critical concern related to safety was voiced by the many staff members and the Faculty Welfare Committee regarding the reckless use of wheeled devices on campus, and the discarding of such devices in a matter which impeded the ability of our community, including those with disabilities, to travel on walkways and roads. There have been minor to serious injuries suffered by riders and pedestrians caused by reckless wheeled device use over the years on campus. There has also been associated ongoing damage to the tiles surrounding the iconic bell tower and other areas of campus. In 2020, the new art installation at the Arts building experienced over $12,000 worth of damage from reckless skateboarding.
UCPD has responded over the years to complaints of wheeled device use, but there has not been a specific legal code or avenue of issuing citations to act as a deterrent to the activity, as exists on other campuses and jurisdictions. Many non-affiliated skateboarders, when contacted by UCPD, have told officers that they come to UCR to skate, because there is no enforcement, and that if they go to other college campuses, they will receive citations.
In response to these issues, the campus completed the process of updating, reviewing and issuing the revised Reckless Use of Wheeled Devices policy, which can be viewed here: https://fboapps.ucr.edu/policies/index.php?path=viewPolicies.php&policy=850-11
Part of this review process included a collaboration between the UCR Office of Legal Affairs, UCPD and the Riverside Superior Courts. The courts reviewed the policy and approved to adjudicate infraction citations issued for violation of the campus codes that were created to address violations of the campus policy.
The campus plans to begin installing the enforcement notification signage required by the Vehicle Code at the main campus entry points during the winter quarter. UCPD will then have the ability to issue infraction citations for violations of the reckless use policy. This new tool will hopefully serve as a deterrent over time, helping to make the campus safer for all who walk, bike and skateboard through it.
Community members who observe the reckless use of wheeled devices on campus should continue to report such violations to UCPD dispatch at 951-827-5222.