Laws concerning riding in the bed of a pickup truck vary from state to state and are not necessarily similar even when comparing regions. While the laws concerning passengers in pickup truck beds in Kansas do exist, they are not as strict as other states. However, an increase in laws concerning safety have made it necessary for Kansas to adopt some form of law for this issue.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Kansas law states that it is illegal for people under the age of 14 to ride in truck beds, unless they are participating in a parade or using the truck bed for employment purposes. The specifics of this law came about with the passage of the Kansas Child Passenger Safety Act. This law covers Kansas residents and non-residents and is primarily concerned with maintaining vehicular safety for children. The Kansas Department of Transportation specifically prohibits children under 14 from riding in any portion of a vehicle not deemed for passengers; this includes pickup truck beds.
Fines and Penalties
The Child Safety Passenger Act shares the same penalties as the Kansas Safety Belt Usage Act, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. The Kansas Highway Patrol states that violators of the Child Safety Passenger Act can be fined $60 per passenger.
Comparisons to Other States
State laws for those states surrounding Kansas vary wildly. According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Nebraska and Missouri are more strict in that their laws apply to anyone under 18 years of age, although both states do make concessions for parades or employment. In Colorado, as long as the cargo area is fully or partially enclosed, it is legal to ride as a passenger in a pickup truck bed. Oklahoma has no state laws concerning passengers in truck beds. When compared to other states, Kansas has found a a middle ground for laws concerning passengers in truck beds.
Michael Staton began contributing professionally to several papers in South Carolina during 2005. He writes for "Upstate Be" magazine, covering local bands and writing his own weekly Internet column. He is also co-editor of a service industry magazine called "Industry." Staton holds a Bachelor of Arts in media studies from the College of Charleston.