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Ask the Mayor: Can a 13-Year-Old Ride in Bed of a Truck?

seatbelt-629230_960_720Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected] [1], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Hi Mayor,

Q: My name is Hayden and I was wondering if a 13-year-old-can ride in the back of a truck.

A: Hayden, I’m glad you are asking about this. We get this question from time to time and last provided a response in this column in December 2014, but it bears repeating.

For starters, as I’m sure you’re aware, riding in the open beds of pickup trucks is very dangerous and I hope that you and your friends know it can be fatal as well.

If for some reason you have no other option for safe transportation, Hawai‘i State law allows this practice in certain situations.

Here’s what the law says: (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.