States have different laws regarding riding in the beds of pickup trucks – some have no restrictions, while others limit passengers with very few exceptions. Kansas has its own limitations, but it is not as strict as some other states. There are no laws on the books forbidding adults to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, but Kansas limits children under 14 from doing so.
Where Is It Illegal to Ride in Truck Beds?
Passengers can ride in the beds of trucks in all states. However, most have some form of regulation that limits who can do it and under what circumstances. Twenty-one states have no regulations at all:
- New Hampshire.
- North Dakota.
- South Dakota.
- West Virginia.
Check state laws before attempting to ride in the bed of a truck. Some states have age requirements for passengers. For example, Connecticut allows people 16 and older to do so, while other states don't restrict people by age, but limit riding in a bed in other ways.
California, for example, allows a person to ride in the bed of a truck only with restraint by a federally approved restraint system; in a parade not going more than 8 mph; in a vehicle used on farming land; on a mile of highway between one place to another; and in emergencies.
Danger of Riding in Truck Beds
Even if riding in the bed of a truck is legal in some states, that doesn't necessarily make it safe. Passengers do not have access to the security that seat belts and airbags offer.
If there is a collision or a sudden stop, persons riding in the back of a truck have a much greater chance of injury or death. While taking on this activity may seem like fun or even harmless if the ride is just for a short distance, it can become dangerous quickly.
Is It OK to Ride in the Back of a Pickup Truck in Kansas?
Kansas law sets out age restrictions for individuals who wish to ride in truck beds. It is illegal for anyone under 14 to ride on any part of a motor vehicle not designed or intended for passengers when it is in motion. It's also unlawful for the driver to allow someone under that age to do so. There are no such laws for minor passengers 14 or older.
There are exceptions to this law, however. Riding in the cargo area of a truck in Kansas is allowed for:
- Employees under 14 working within a space intended for cargo or merchandise.
- While in parades, exhibitions or caravans that are authorized or permitted by law.
These exemptions apply when a vehicle operates on the state highway system or within a city's corporate limits.
Violating Child Safety Laws
Kansas has passed the Child Passenger Safety Act, which regulates vehicle travel for child passengers. Violating this law is a misdemeanor, and offenders have to attend a mandatory court date and pay a $60 fine, plus court costs.
The court may waive the fine if the offender proves that they have taken the appropriate action to secure the child according to law. However, even if the court dismisses the fine, court costs still apply.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.