Riding In The Back Of A Pickup Truck

Two years ago, when the Texas Governor vetoed the no texting bill, it was a heavy blow and, as far as I am concerned, a big step backward. But I was even more shocked to hear that he had actually passed another bill that prohibits someone from having children in the back of the boat while it is in tow on a roadway. What??? I thought the outdated law of allowing passengers to continue riding in the back of a pickup truck was already a bit silly…what’s next…not allowing people to ride on the wing of a moving airplane?

Is it legal or illegal to ride in the back of a truck in Texas? Technically, Texas law states that it’s legal for people over the age of 18 to ride in the back of a pickup truck. However, just because it is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe – in fact, it’s really not at all. Passengers are unrestrained and unprotected. Even minor obstacles on the roadway (such as potholes or debris) could cause uncomfortable bumps which could certainly result in an injury. If the pickup is involved in a collision (for example, being hit by another driver), then any passengers riding in the back of a pickup truck would almost certainly be ejected and suffer catastrophic injuries. I’ve known of numerous kids flying out and landing on their noodles when I was growing up.

The current Texas law as I know it, states that children under the age of 18 can only ride in the open bed of a pickup truck only under certain circumstances. Such as in a parade, a hay ride, or a sandy beach. Or, on an unpaved road…and kids love gravel flying up at them. Gravel is one of the most understated discipline tools. But you can only drive at a low speed. And not on a highway, only on a lower-speed roadway, such as your farm-to-market road, or the road to your farm (which also has huge craters, great for ejecting kids…which can also be viewed as a discipline tool.) I have also heard that if it is your only family vehicle and you can prove it, you may be allowed to put your children in the back.

With seat belt laws being so strictly enforced now as well as child safety laws, hopefully, we will eventually evolve and this law will be revised to fit with the times.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Comedienne / Writer / Artist / Buckle-Upper

Riding In The Back Of The Pickup – Comedy Defensive Driving