Is it Legal in Massachusetts to Transport Kids in the Bed of a Pickup Truck?
Many people at some point in their lives have probably ridden in the bed of a pickup truck. Back when I was a kid living in northern Berkshire County, I remember there were times that one of my family members would transport some of my friends and me in the back of his pickup truck. For me, it was always fun to ride in a vehicle in this way as I didn't get to do it often (my parents didn't own pickup trucks) Plus, there was the feeling of freedom when riding in the bed of a pickup truck.
Looking back at those times I started wondering if transporting kids in the bed of a pickup truck was something that was frowned upon or even illegal in Massachusetts. My friends and I were quite young. In addition, we were being transported on regular streets at regular speeds.
Is it Illegal in Massachusetts to Transport Kids in the Bed of a Pickup Truck?
In my case, I would say that the situation was illegal as the Massachusetts law for performing this act does allow children to be transported in the bed of a pickup truck but the children have to be 12 years of age or older and the limitation on the distance is only five miles. In addition, the driver cannot exceed five miles per hour when transporting the individuals.
Here's the actual law as noted by the website malegislature.gov
No person shall operate a motor vehicle, commonly known as a pick-up truck, nor shall the owner permit it to be operated, for a distance more than five-miles, in excess of five-miles per hour, with persons under twelve years of age in the body of such truck, unless such truck is part of an official parade, or has affixed to it a legal Owner Repair or Farm license plate or a pick-up truck engaged in farming activities.
As you can see there are some exceptions to the law but I can confidently say my experience was illegal. However, I can't say that my friends and I didn't have fun.