Should It Be Illegal to Ride in Back of Trucks? Local Congressman Thinks So

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By Jessica Gertler

An Alabama congressman wants to ban passengers from riding the back of pickup trucks. This after a truck carrying nine people including a group of children overturned on a highway in North Alabama leaving four dead and five injured.

"All over the South! Everybody's always toting their kids around in the back of the truck," says Jimmy Gay.

Gay has owned a truck for 25 years. He lets his children ride in the back.

"I've been stopped for it before because my kids been in the back, and they say, 'Your kids got to be 16 years of age or something,'" says Gay. "It's the little ones that like to ride in the back more than the big ones do."

But for Susan Moore, a mother of three: "There's no seat belts back there. It's an open cab. So we have never ever rode in the back."

The debate sparked after a tragic wreck in North Alabama on Sunday that left four dead and five injured. Witnesses say children spilled from the back of the truck as it began flipping on the highway. 

"Currently, there is no law in Alabama that specifically addresses passengers in the part of the bed of a truck," says Sgt. Steve Jarrett with the Alabama State Troopers.

A bill banning children from riding in the back of a pickup failed in the state house in 1998.

While Alabama does have a law requiring children under 15 years of age to be buckled up, Congressman Mike Rogers says that law does not apply to people riding outside the vehicle. He wants to pass a federal law requiring states to ban anyone from riding in a truck bed as a requirement to get federal highway money. An idea some drivers support.

"Being a nurse, I see a vehicle flip. People get thrown out. It's very dangerous," says Moore.

While others aren't convinced.

"That should be up to the parent. There shouldn't be a law banning that. Parents are going to jeopardize their youngin'," says Gay.

What do you think? Should Alabama make it illegal for people to ride in the back of a truck? Should the federal government step in? Head to our Facebook page to comment.

 

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