Kids cited for riding on car top; ‘Car surfing’ has proven dangerous

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Two teenage boys and an 18-year-old woman were cited for disorderly conduct after police caught the juveniles riding on the roof of a vehicle Tuesday.

According to Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger, an officer on patrol spotted a vehicle leaving the parking lot of Riverside Arena at 10:06 p.m. on Tuesday. The boys were “car surfing,” riding on the roof of the vehicle, driven by the 18-year-old, while laying down like on a surf board.

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The officer initiated a traffic stop on Second Avenue Northeast. The boys, ages 14 and 15, were cited along with the driver for disorderly conduct. The juveniles were released to a parent and the driver was released from the scene.

Krueger said that Austin police see incidents of “car surfing” a few times a year.

Dangers of car surfing documented

“Car surfing” has been a thrill-seeking activity that caught the attention of the Centers for Disease Control in 2008. The federal agency studied news reports nationwide for an analysis that “identified 58 reports of car-surfing deaths and 41 reports  of nonfatal injury from 1990 through August 2008.”

The most reports of car-surfing injuries, 75 percent, came the Midwest and South. Most of the injuries were among males, 70 percent and people between the ages of  15-19, 69 percent.

A Columbia Heights, Minnesota, 17-year-old was critically injured in April 2016 when he fell off the hood of his friend’s car traveling at 20 mph.

Twin Cities media outlets reported Andrew Green hit his head on the pavement and suffered a traumatic brain injury. A piece of his skull had to be removed and he was placed in a medically-induced coma.

During his recovery, he was quoted by KMSP-TV: “If I ever have the chance to tell someone or stop someone, I want to take that chance. I don’t want anyone to end up like this, and there is a possibility they could end up even worse than this.”

Editor Chris Baldus contributed to this report.