(WGHP) — If you or anyone you know owns a pickup truck, you’ve probably ridden in the truck bed once or twice.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck can be fun and sometimes feel necessary if someone is already sitting in the driver’s seat and passenger seat, but is it legal?
Children younger than 16 aren’t allowed to ride in open beds of pickup trucks or other open cargo areas without permanent overhead restraining construction, according to BuckleUpNC.
However, what works as permanent overhead restraining construction actually has never been defined by the NC legislature or by the courts.
The phrase “permanent overhead restraining construction” is a bit vague but can refer to any structure welded or bolted to the vehicle that can’t be removed. Something held on with clamps doesn’t qualify as “permanent.”
Although there are a few legal exemptions to the under-16 rule, they are not recommended:
- If an adult is present in the bed or cargo area and is supervising the child
- If the child is secured or restrained by a seat belt in compliance with FMVSS 208 installed to support a load of 5,000 pounds for each belt and of a type approved by the commissioner
- If there’s an emergency situation
- If the vehicle is being driven in a parade.
- If the vehicle is being used for an agricultural enterprise, including providing transportation to and from the principal place of the agricultural enterprise
One important thing to note is the driver of the pickup truck is responsible for anyone under 16, so the driver will get the ticket even if the teen’s parent is present.
The fine is around $25.00.