Arizona Bill Would Prohibit Kids Riding Freely in Pickup Beds

By Dave Lee

Perhaps you can file this item under "safety first" or even "common sense." Last week, Arizona's House lawmakers approved a bill that would make it illegal to freely haul children in the beds of pickup trucks, and there's a chance the measure will become law, according to an editorial in the Arizona Daily Star.

Opponents of the bill have contended that the measure intrudes on civil liberties. But even under Arizona law, an elk carcass must be tied down in the back of a pickup to prevent it from becoming airborne in the event of sudden braking or a collision. Yet the state doesn't require that a child be secured when riding in the truck bed.

"A projectile 12-year-old poses just as much of a traffic safety risk as a projectile elk — not to mention that it's your kid," said Democratic Rep. Matt Heinz, the bill's sponsor.

The bill, which requires that pickup-bed passengers younger than 18 either be belted or helmeted, has partial bipartisan support in the Senate, Heinz said.

[Source: Arizona Daily Star]



You got to be kidding?
You have to pass laws to protect people from their own stupidity!

I love the part about younger than 18 be belted or helmeted.........

The helmet will help with putting a bigger dent in the oncoming vehicle or puncturing that windshiled.

Maybe a helmet will allow for an open casket funeral.


I can hear the dueling banjo's in the background.

I'm not sure if this already law or not in florida I'll have to research it. I only have friends ride in the back if I'm on an easy trail or just going around the corner.

Glad and hope it passes!!!!

To me as long as you are required to wear a seat belt inside the truck, then you should not be riding outside the truck on highways period!!!!

hRestrictions on riding in cargo areas of pickup trucks

But If my kids cant ride in the bed how will they be able to pass me a cold one from the ice chest? Guess they could always just crawl through the sliding window. Whys the government making my life harder?

This could really put a damper on parades. I've never seen a parade that didn't have a pickup bed full of a group of kids.

I do think it's really bizarre that Rep. Heinz emphasized the possible safety risk to metal and plastic cars possibly in the vicinity of an accident over the almost certain death facing the child.

Is there some sad precedent for this? Or is it just busy-body lawmakers busying their bodies? If it's the latter, it sounds a lot like that town in the UK that banned stuffed animal mascots on the fronts of trucks because "a child might be killed running out into the street and attempting to grab the toy on the front of the moving truck" even though no child ever did that or nearly did that.

Does the strapping-down-elk law also apply to deer? I personally never seen a person who weighed as much as an adult elk. If you don't need to strap down deer, which are much more similar in weight to people, then the projectile aspect of this bill is irrelevant.

Not that this bill and the whole process surrounding aren't just as dumb as hot coffee and cruise control warnings.

These people in power are so dis-connected from the real world.There are more major things to do than passing a law,that is common sense.I cant remember when was the last time I have saw a load of American kids riding in the back of a truck.

Stop passing laws,did you know we have more laws than ever before and the average person would be locked up for life if they we caught for every law they broke each day..Even if you dont think you are breaking a law..YOU ARE !!

Barely. It has been banned here in CA for many years already.

I do not understand why everyone is upset. Personally, I would not let my children ride in the back bed. That's just me, what if, and I mean what if some bozo crashes into you.

Then what? Come on guys, let's not be hypocritical.

This isn't a law already?

@Luke- since parades are closed to traffic, you are not "in" traffic whilst participating, and are possibly exempt.
I have seen people who weigh as much as a bull elk, (though none under 18yo) and the back of a pick-up is about the only way to get the around.

Rednecks won't be happy about that! Apparently being able to do what ever you want, even if it means killing your kids, is a constitutional right.

This has been the law in Kansas and Missouri for 20 years.

"Life is tough, it's tougher when you're stupid." -Sergeant Stryker

I was reading the story again and I found this part more disturbing:
"The bill, which requires that pickup-bed passengers younger than 18 either be belted or helmeted, has partial bipartisan support in the Senate, Heinz said."

What would be "safe" belting?
How many can you belt in?
Does a tether count?
Where do you sit?
How many people per belt?
Is there a passenger limit?

Helmets? hmmm.......

What kind?

"Short bus"?

Do cowboy hats count as a helmet?
What about sombrero's?
I've seen crusty never washed ball caps that probably are as stiff as a hardhat.

"Partial bipartisan support in the senate"


Don't you appreciate how the government spends our hard earned tax dollars....

This aught to put a dent in illegal immigration!

Lou, You're acting like Howie Long. Stop it.

@Frankford - really?
Too bad there weren't laws like this when Bob was a child.

Never hurt me growing up.

This here is just another way to pull over dem elegal aliens without no search warrant!

BJ- I'd say you're spot-on, but then I would expect this to have more than partial bipartisan support, especially since AZ is big on extending civil liberties only to those who can prove they have not broken any (imigration) laws.

This law is silly and should not be the role of our goverment. I agree that having the kids riding in the back of a pickup may not be very smart but everyday people do unwise things that can be dangerous. In rural areas pickups are a way of life and sometimes that invovles transporting more than what can be seatbelted in the cab. Goverment's role is not to be an over-protective parent or even a parent for that matter.



Law wont apply to ford trucks because the side rails are so high kids cant fallout even in big bumps and the kids can hold on to the man step. Ford trucks are the preferred truck for smuggling illegal aliens with the high bed rails.

F-150 deep cargo boxes offering largest capacity in their
class, plus class exclusive box side steps and tailgate
step for easy access.

Chevy's shallow cargo boxes offer smaller capacity and the low hanging frames can be used for plowing fields. Man step shown on GM concept won't be available until 2014.

The box steps that GM copied from Ford won't be available until 2014 for GM and Chevy trucks. I know you want your man step but will have to wait 2-3 years.

See, the problem with laws like this, is that sometimes, it's okay for a child to ride in the box of a truck. It's happened throughout the history of the pickup, and guarunteed every reader has been there in their youth. Should kids be in the back of a truck thats going down the highway?? Certainly not, but a blanket law that states no kids in the box is infringing on the parental role, as well common sense. Whats the harm in the kids riding in the box down some remote road when Dad's driving doing 5 miles per hour?? Kids love that kinda stuff, and those childhood memories would be cherished throughout their lives. THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING YOUR RIGHTS AWAY EVERYDAY!! America is (or was) the most free country in the world and its being taken away. Stop needless laws in your area!
The more nanny laws that are created, the more dependant the populous becomes on them and in turn, the less personal responsibility people will have.

"Chevy's shallow cargo boxes offer smaller capacity and the low hanging frames." - Tim

Looks like the Demo target are for the Oompa Loompas!!!

Can you add a manstep to a Silverado?

The government has bigger fish to fry in my opinion. I'm just pissed that they're wasting their time on this right now. Stupidity should be a choice, not a law.

I only haul people (and kids) in my bed short distances and only when nessasary. A law is stupid.

Its a bill by a democrat go figure...

Hopefully they dont pass it, we dont need more government regulation.

@Northern MN - You said "This law is silly and should not be the role of our goverment," but I must respectfully disagree.

My reason? Our healthcare and auto insurance costs are shared. If we allow obviously dangerous behavior, we allow severe injuries to occur...and severe injuries raise our insurance rates for both our cars and our kids.

It saves all of us money if we prevent serious injuries from occurring...and I'm all about saving money, which is why I support this law, motorcycle helmet laws, and any other rule that stops a costly injury from occurring.

As a compromise, we could allow people to ride in an open pickup bed (or ride without a helmet or whatever) provided they had obtained a specific insurance rider to cover the potential cost of this risky behavior. That way, the cost burden wouldn't be shared.


Yes! Replace it a Ford Tailgate.

@Jason Lancaster, what's next then, would you propose that everybody that drives a pick-up purchase another rider to put ANYTHING in the bed??? After all, it could be flying debris in the event of an accident. Wow! More for lawyers and government officials to spent money legislating on our behalf. More paperwork and costs for us all!!! Thank you Jason!!!

You will learn one day that the government doesn't have the ability to fix anything for you. It's time for people like you to get quit running to your government mommy and take some responsibilty for your own life and decisions. I guarantee it will be in your best interest. People like you are the problem, not the solution.


Couldnt have said it better my self.

If you want a nanny state move to europe, dont ruin this country.

Hey Jason Lancaster

in school you learned about a natural phenomenon called "NATURAL SELECTION"! if our STUPID *SS government would stop playing the roll of parent (which they have ZERO right to do) then there wouldnt be SO MANY IDIOTS ON THE ROAD TO START WITH. Some of the idiots your protecting with these needless laws would off themselves somehow and NOT reproduce another 1-3 idiots just like them that cant protect or make smart enough decisions to keep from seriously injuring themselves (3 people raising healthcare instead of one) then healthcare wouldnt be so bad either, NOR would my dang paycheck be going to people who OTHERWISE couldnt find their way out of a paper container. THE PROBLEM with this country AND society is we cater to a weaker helpless society, IN TURN that creates more weakness and less people who can fend for themselves. its STUPID you cant protect everyone!

SORRY folks but SOMEONE had to say it.

its TOTAL BULL that our government make a law like this, or a law about my seatbelt and whether i wear it, that is MY right to choose when it doesnt infringe on your rights, its a part of our constitution, someone should get that back out and dust it off and USE it again!

this is something ALL truck guys that love trucks and everything about them, whether you like Toyota, GM, Ford, Dodge, or Nissan should agree on, its OUR choice whats in the bed of our pickup truck! not the stupid government.

*disclaimer* I dont believe that noone deserves help, BUT i ALSO dont believe people should be left to live off of a system that allows them be there forever and discourages them from getting off of it either.

The same families stupid enough to have children riding in truck beds are the same ones without healthcare insurance. We know who gets stuck with that ER bill. Funny thing is most of those AZ types are the illegal immigrants and other AZ laws already nip that bud.

@Jason L, one more thing, I don't want to share any costs or burden with anyone. I'm happy to bear the weight myself. I don't want Uncle Sams help, and I cringe at the thought of asking for it. I want to be responsible for my own cooking. There's only one person that has never let me down so far, ME. God bless America. This is the only place on Earth that allows one to write his own destiny. You want to see that go away?

@hemi lol- I could not agree more. People living on disability who arent really disabled, welfare mommas spittin out as many welfare checks, uh I mean kids as they can, and those just too lazy to work are one of the many problems we have in this country. People like that should not be given a dime. Work or starve, its as simple as that. "oh, but I have 2 kids! I need that welfare check so they can eat!" Sorry bitch but no. Their kids should be taken from them until they can prove themselves able to support them.

Jason L,
Your logic is reasonable but has no limitations. The health care and insurance argument could be used to control all aspects or our lives. I ride in the back of pickups and so do my kids on occasion, they also ride on a hayrack behind my 1940 H-Farmall. Should hayrides also be illegal? I am responsible and take measured caution in these actions and it turn I expect to be treated like an adult. If we create laws to protect all from the dumbest in society we will have no freedoms.

Obviously law enforcement agencies and health and safety advocates have seen a problem here.
I agree that too many laws are bad and people should have the logical sense of doing what is right.
But, do people have a logical sense of what is right?

I don't have a problem with kids sitting on the floor of the p/u box and riding slowly across a hayfield or down a private laneway.

The second part of this law is just as lame as the first part.
I made fun of it earlier.
If you are under 18 it is okay to ride in the back if you have a helmet on or are belted in.
Guess what? They will have to pass laws explaining what meets those criteria = more laws.

I do agree that if someone wants to partake in high risk activities or do so without proper safety equipment - then find some insurance that will cover a lifetime spent in a coma in a "for profit" hospital.

@ Bob - you wouldn't need to worry about this sort of law. It only applies to vehicles that are in running condition.

Bob owns a Chevy dealership and he drives a different truck every week.

@ Dodge Tec - that explains why Bob never can tell me the vehicle he drives. Maybe he is so rich that someone drives it for him - a chauffeur.

There are deaths every year in AZ due to people doing this, and its needless. No, this won't affect parades, that is closed traffic.

The only reason for laws like this is that there are dumb people who get others killed doing dumb things. No one would give this law the time of day if that wasn't true.

This brings back memories of, "The Good ol' Days" of being able to ride in the back of an open pickup. The last time I was able to do this (in California) was in the mid-'90s when I was a junior/senior in high school. California outlawed it a couple years later. California lawmakers/regulators always spoiling our fun!

On that note, it would never cross my mind to allow my two little ones to ride in the back of my pickup even if it was still legal. Potential for disaster!

This new law will kill the collector value of the Subaru Brat, with those cool seats in the bed, for people still holding on to those gems. Owners better sell them high, now, while they still can.

@ Buy American - those rigs will be fine as the law stated "belted or helmeted" is okay ;)


Good point. Subaru Brat "collectors", rejoice!

@ Buy American - I don't know how anyone would admit to owning a Subaru Brat. LOL
The recent reincarnation was hideous.
I do recall the main reason for the seats in the back of the Subaru brat was to get around the "chicken tax".

Funny how school buses have no seatbelts and that is not a concern.

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