Riding in the bed of a pickup truck is a common sight across West Virginia. It may look like a fun and convenient way to travel, but is it legal? The answer is complicated and depends on the circumstances.
In West Virginia, it is illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, unless they are accompanied by an adult. The law also states that children must be properly restrained with seat belts or other safety devices. It’s important to note that this restriction applies regardless of whether the vehicle is moving or not.
It is illegal to ride in the bed of a pickup truck when there are inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, sleet or hail present. This law applies even when the truck is moving at low speeds or stopped.
When traveling on highways, it is illegal to ride in the bed of a pickup truck unless it has been specially outfitted with side rails or other safety devices that are designed to protect riders from being thrown out of the vehicle in case of an accident. Even then, only up to two people may ride in the back at any given time.
Riding in the bed of a pickup truck on public streets and roads is generally illegal unless you are traveling on streets with low speed limits (25 mph or less). In these cases, riders must be seated at all times and firmly secured to prevent them from being thrown out of the vehicle if an accident were to occur.
In summary, riding in the bed of a pickup truck in West Virginia can be legal depending on certain factors such as age restrictions, weather conditions, highway travel and public street travel. It’s important to keep these laws in mind before hopping into your pickup truck for a joyride.