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Altamonte Springs Police Department
Wednesday September 29th, 2010 :: 01:17 p.m. EDT


Can I Ride In The Back of a Pickup Truck? See email for full story.

What are some things that make you go hmmmmmm? For example after eating, do amphibians have to wait one hour before getting out of the water? Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawnshop? Do fish get thirsty? What was the best thing before sliced bread? Why do they make cars go so fast it’s illegal? Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways? And lastly why do parents allow children to ride in the back of a pick up truck and is it legal?

Florida Statute 316.2015 addresses this question and states this:

“It is unlawful for any operator of a pickup truck or flatbed truck to permit a minor child who has not attained 18 years of age to ride upon limited access facilities of the state within the open body of a pickup truck or flatbed truck unless the minor is restrained within the open body in the back of a truck that has been modified to include secure seating and safety restraints to prevent the passenger from being thrown, falling, or jumping from the truck.”

To clarify the legal wording of the law it states that it is against the law for a child to ride in the bed of a pick up truck but is only illegal on a limited access roads such as Interstate-4 or the Florida Turnpike. Therefore current law permits parents to allow a child to ride unsecured in the back of a pick up truck traveling at 45 mph down SR 436.

In a collision, the sudden deceleration or other crash forces will more than likely launch the person out of the bed. Most of the time, no amount of "holding on" can prevent this (even at slower speeds). In some collisions passengers riding in the bed of a truck have been thrown out and subsequently run over by a vehicle. Recently, this type of tragedy occurred in Deltona this past May when a 15 year old child was killed instantly when he was ejected during a tire blowout. The child volunteered to ride in the bed of the truck because there were not enough seats for all passengers.

In researching today’s topic I came across proposed legislation by a local Senator who was trying to amend current law and make it illegal to ride in the bed of a truck not only on Interstate highways but also county, state, and local roadways as well. The Senator’s office told me his proposed amendment was turned down for the fifth straight year in 2010.

Although laws are designed to maintain order and keep society safe, sometimes other factors play a role. I would highly encourage parents to discuss today’s topic with their older children who may find themselves in a similar situation as the 15 year old from Deltona. Hopefully education will reduce future tragedies.

Have a safe day!

Altamonte Springs Police Department
175 Newburyport Ave
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 407-339-2441

Lt Darin Farber
COPS Section

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