Is It Illegal to Ride in the Bed of a Pickup Truck in Florida?

April 5, 2022 Criminal Defense

Florida is home to some of the most beautiful weather the United States has to offer. With sandy beaches, gorgeous lakes, warm weather, and coastal beaches, it is understandable that groups would congregate together to head for a slice of paradise. It’s hard to hit the beaches in Florida without seeing a pickup truck hosting folks in the bed of the truck. Is it illegal to ride in the bed of a pickup truck in Florida? We’ll explore that and more in our blog post!

Is It Illegal?

Not always! There are certain situations where trouble could arise, but for the most part, adults can ride in the beds of pickup trucks without worrying about potential arrests.

The Statute

The law discussing when it is lawful for a person to ride in the bed of a pickup truck is Florida Statute Section 316.2015. It states, in pertinent part:

It is unlawful for any operator of a pickup truck or flatbed truck to permit a minor child who has not attained 18 years of age to ride upon limited access facilities of the state within the open body of a pickup truck or flatbed truck unless the minor is restrained within the open body in the back of a truck that has been modified to include secure seating and safety restraints to prevent the passenger from being thrown, falling, or jumping from the truck. This paragraph does not apply in a medical emergency if the child is accompanied within the truck by an adult. A county is exempt from this paragraph if the governing body of the county, by majority vote, following a noticed public hearing, votes to exempt the county from this paragraph.

So, if a minor rides in the bed of a truck, they legally must be restrained to secure seating to keep the riders from being thrown, falling, or jumping out of the bed of the truck. Adults are legally allowed to ride unrestrained in the bed of a pickup truck as long as they remain completely seated.

Can You Legally Ride on the Side or Fender of the Truck?

Though adults can ride legally in the bed of a pickup truck, the same does not apply to the rest of the truck’s exterior. Florida Statute Section 316. 2015 also governs this, stating, in pertinent part:

It is unlawful for any operator of a passenger vehicle to permit any person to ride on the bumper, radiator, fender, hood, top, trunk, or running board of such vehicle when operated upon any street or highway which is maintained by the state, county, or municipality. Any person who violates this subsection shall be cited for a moving violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

Moving v. Nonmoving Violations

According to the

Moving violations occur when a driver does not follow traffic laws while the vehicle is in motion. Examples include speeding, running a red light or texting while driving.

Non-moving violations are infractions that occur when the vehicle is not moving. Examples include illegal parking, expired plates or equipment-related violations such as a broken taillight.

Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in Florida, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Tallahassee traffic crime attorneyDon Pumphrey and the members of the legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have decades of experience defending Floridians against traffic crime charges and can ensure that your rights will be protected and upheld. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today to discuss your options during an open and free consultation with an attorney in our team.

Written by Gabi D’Esposito

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