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Ohio Could Finally Ban Skateboard-Behind-Car Stunt

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sneakers on skateboard

In Ohio, snagging a moving vehicle to hitch a ride—or “skitching”— is very much against the law if you’re on a bicycle, or skates, or even a sled.

But not if you’re on a skateboard.

Ohio State Rep. Thomas West wants to plug that road-safety loophole, and he’s submitted legislation targeting the practice. Titled the Dallas Swogger Act, the bill is named after a 16-year-old boy from Canton, Ohio, who died after he was hurt while skateboarding behind a moving vehicle in 2017.

‘A very dangerous activity’

The Swogger Act would add skateboards to the list of specifically prohibited skitching vehicles. According to an Ohio law passed in 2004, “No person riding upon any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or self to any streetcar, trackless trolley, or vehicle upon a roadway.” First-time offenders can be found guilty of a minor misdemeanor, while repeat offenses within a year can lead to third or fourth degree misdemeanor charges.

Related: 3 tips for safe travels

“No family should have to experience the loss of a loved one from this kind of senseless accident,” West said in a statement. “We have a responsibility as a community to do anything we can to prevent future tragedies like this.”


Skateboard skitching

Hitching skateboard rides behind cars could soon be illegal in Ohio
Photo: RIDE Channel

A quick Google search reveals no shortage of videos glorifying dangerous skitching stunts—and no shortage of stories where participants like Swogger have been injured or killed.

“This is a very dangerous activity that can result in the serious injury or death of those involved,” said Ohio Highway Patrol Lt. Robert Sellers.

Related: 5 towing safety tips for your pickup

Sources: Dayton Daily News, Ohio Revised Code