With the increased interest on downhill skating, is the increased presence of police and highway patrol which instantly puts a spotlight on the downhill community to skate safely and faster than a cop car. The downhill community is extremely safe and self regulating keeping the whole of the community generally safe. Helmets and slide gloves are necessary for safety precautions and gloves as well for sliding and stopping.
For almost every skater, these two lines keep them from finding out what the hood of a car feels likes. Not knowing how to properly control speed and stay in your lane will never end well . Lately there has been a presence of locals on a very dangerous illegal road in Santa Barbara, Skating without helmets or gloves to take bad instagram photos and pose as cool skaters. This is worrisome not only for their safely but out of respect for local skaters who will not be able to skate as long because of cops, nor do they show respect in the road the are trying to skate.
Mountain passes are impossible for any skater, bike, or car to navigate with complete safety and awareness. Thinner roads and heavier traffic on fast, steep descents that can be taken upwards on 50mph. Seeing amatuers go and try to tackle something so challenging never ends well.
Over the summer I watched a friend of mine get run over on a local road and come very close to death. This could have easily been avoided by staying within your limits and not skating technical roads with minimal skill or understanding of the sport, but without her helmet or slide gloves, she would have never lived to skate another day. Racing federations take it a step further requiring leathers to be worn in races. Leather are essentially a secondary layer of skin protection to make it more comfortable to take risks at 45mph in races with 3 to 6 people within feet of you. City ordinances are also beginning to notice downhill and the issue of safety, sadly, most cities find it easier to ban the sport than create a safer environment for cars, bikes, and skateboarders alike.