Maui Discussion

Ask The Mayor: Is it Legal? Riding in the Back of a Truck.

December 28, 2014, 12:00 PM HST
* Updated January 5, 7:31 AM
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File photo by Victoria Hoag.

File photo by Victoria Hoag.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: If the County of Maui is adamant about everybody’s seatbelt use, why does the county allow passengers to ride in the open beds of trucks?

Seeing people riding against the tailgate is outrageously dangerous.

This is the absolute worst place to sit. Worst of all, most of the passengers I witness are underage.

A: I agree, riding in open beds of pickup trucks is extremely dangerous; however, Hawaiʻi State law allows this practice in certain situations.


Hawaiʻi Revised Statute (HRS) §291-14 states that no passenger can ride in the bed of a pickup truck unless (1) there is no seating available in the cab of the vehicle; (2) the side racks of the vehicle are securely attached and the tailboard or tailgate is securely closed; and (3) every passenger in the bed or load-carrying area of the vehicle is seated on the floor and does not attempt to “control unlashed cargo.”


This law prohibits children aged 12 years and under from riding in the bed of a pickup truck, except in life-threatening emergencies or if the vehicle is being operated in a parade, caravan or authorized exhibition. Violations are subject to a fine of $72 each for passenger restrictions and $92 for violations for underage children.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.



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