A professional skateboarder is potentially facing jail time after uploading a video that purports to show him skating at an astounding 68 mph through the middle of traffic.
South African skater Decio Lourenco faces the charges after Cape Town city officials say his high-speed skating actually triggered a speed camera. The speed limit in the town Lourenco was skating through is reportedly 37 mph.
“All that was needed was for one of those motorists to panic and swerve into the oncoming traffic and you have a large number of deaths, as we have already had on that road, safety spokesman Jean-Pierre Smith, told the New York Daily News. "If we don't take action against him, every other aspirant skateboarder will try it and one of them will come to a sticky end."
It’s hard to argue that the stunt was dangerous and reckless, particularly with oncoming traffic in the opposite lane. But Lourenco is a professional and Kloof Nek, the road he speeds down, has been used for professional skateboarding events in the past. In addition, his YouTube video of the stunt ("Spoofing the Traffic Camera -- Longboarding Without Limits") does include disclaimers discouraging others from attempting to recreate his feat, which has already been viewed more than 600,000 since it was posted on January 26.
However, as Reuters points out, the past skateboarding events hosted on Kloof Nek have always taken place when all other traffic was closed off the street. And local traffic laws prohibit skateboarders on public roads.
For his part, Lourenco, 24, says he doesn’t understand where all the negative attention is coming from.
"I've been skating down hills from a young age… often going much faster than that., he said in an interview with ioL News. “This is the first time I've gotten any attention for it."