Can you carry passengers in the cargo area of a pickup truck? Yes, and no.
Carrying passengers in the cargo area of a pickup truck is legal in Virginia IF those persons are 16 or older.
Virginia law prohibits carrying children in the back of a pickup.
There are two exceptions to the prohibition against children riding in the cargo area of a pickup:
- Children can legally ride in the cargo area of a pickup during an organized parade.
- Children can legally ride in the cargo area of a pickup for very limited purposes in farming operations.
The Virginia code defines a pickup truck as “(i) every motor vehicle designed for the transportation of property and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less. (ii) every motor vehicle registered for personal use, designed to transport property on its own structure independent of any other vehicle, and having a registered grow weight in excess of 7,500 pounds but not in excess of 10,000 pounds.” [Virginia Code section 46.2-1156.1]
PLEASE NOTE: The fact that carrying any passenger in the cargo area of a pickup truck may be legal does not mean that it is safe to do so. People traveling in the cargo area have no protection, including seatbelts, in the event of a car crash. The risk of being ejected from the pickup is significantly higher than for passengers in the passenger area. There are also many accounts of people being thrown from the cargo area of a pickup when the pickup makes a sudden stop or takes a turn. Injuries sustained when passengers are ejected from the cargo area are typically more severe.
If you are offered a ride in the cargo area of a pickup truck, or if a child is offered a ride, it is important to know the law.
Please think carefully about the added risks of injury to anyone riding in the cargo bed of a pickup.
The staff of Altizer Law, P.C. cares about your safety. We hope you will never need a personal injury attorney. If you do need legal help, we invite you to call our trusted and experienced attorneys. Our offices are located in Roanoke, VA. From there we help clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you are injured and you are unable to come to us, we will come to you.