Driving down Encinal Canyon Road, Sonia Ottusch said she was terrified when she witnessed skateboarders careening down the steep, narrow roadway between Agoura and Malibu.
"These skateboarders could have been killed by an impatient driver or hit a rock and been badly injured," said Ottusch, who lives in Malibu West and often drives on Encinal Canyon Road to mountain bikes on local trails.
A video of the skateboarding in the area around Encinal Canyon Road was posted on YouTube on Jan. 25 by G-Form, a company that produces knee, elbow and shin pads, among other products. The company did not return calls requesting comment.
Ottusch said she witnessed the filming and the skateboarders continue to race down Encinal Canyon Road.
"Skateboarding in front of cars traveling on a public road with posted vehicular speeds of 55 MPH is not only dangerous, it is illegal," Ottusch said.
Det. David Huelsen of the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station said he is aware of the video and the illegal skateboarding. He said deputies enforce a Los Angeles County skateboarding ordinance that applies to roadways with a 3 percent grade or more.
Huelsen said he saw the illegal skateboarding recently firsthand.
“They were going so fast. I couldn’t believe it," Huelsen said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol coordinate to respond to calls about illegal skateboarding on canyon roads.
"It is something we are definitely aware of. Our policy is we will respond to them. We’ll get there as fast as we can. It’s a priority call. Generally, in county areas if we do find them, we will cite them," Huelsen said.
Deputies began seriously cracking down on illegal skateboarding in early 2012 after Christopher Schwartz, 29, died when he crashed into a parked car when he took his Dirtsurfer skateboard for a run down a steep residential street near the Lake Lindero Country Club in Agoura.
Huelsen encouraged local motorists to call 911 when they observe illegal skateboarding on canyon roads.
"We just tell the callers to be really careful going around them. If you hit them, it might be your fault. You want to be really careful, get away from them. Keep your distance. Call us and if you can get away from them safely. Don’t take any action on your own," Huelsen said.
Watch the video of the skateboarding above.