The wind in your hair and the warm sun on your skin, it feels like freedom in the back of this pickup truck until Dad takes a sharp turn at 29 miles per hour and you take a hard roll and bang your head on the side of the truck. Then, he realizes you're OK and intentionally drives into a pothole to see the fear in your eyes as you bounce to an elevation unknown.

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That is just one, of many moments from my childhood that made me the mutant I am today. I always wondered when I was in the back of that pickup, is this even legal? Is my family living within the boundaries of the law? The answer depends on where in the United States you are.

Different states have different laws when it comes to riding in the bed of a pickup truck. What does Connecticut have to say on the matter? According to Driving Laws:

"Connecticut law. Connecticut's law states that: No person shall operate and carry a passenger younger than 16 years in an open bed of a truck-type vehicle or other vehicle. However, such passengers are allowed to ride in such open spaces if they are properly restrained in a safety belt that complies with federal regulations. The penalty is a fine of $50. No points are assessed. (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-272a14-296 (2024).)"

There is is, if you are over 16, you are good to go in the Nutmeg State, otherwise you'll need to find a vehicle with a roof for your child.


What about our neighbors in New York? Their laws are quite different according to the Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini III, who say:

"New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibit riding in the back of a pick-up truck on any state road or highway, regardless of the purpose or the type of pick-up truck. This law applies to both commercial and non-commercial vehicles." 

In the following states that are no restrictions on riding in the bed of a pickup according to Magnum Truck Racks:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
Farmer sitting on back of truck using laptop

I'll tell you what she be against the law, is taking your E Harmony profile picture in the back of of a Ford F-150.

Couple Sitting In Pick Up Truck On Camping Holiday Smiling To Camera

Don't ride with this couple either, they look like they are transporting severed heads in that cooler.

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