Arkansas is one of a majority of states that has restrictions on passengers in the cargo bed of a pickup truck. For the most part, these laws are intended to protect younger passengers. Arkansas’s law requires that “No person shall ride upon any portion of a vehicle that is not designed or intended for the use of passengers. §27-35-104(a).” This law appears to be intended to prohibit riding on hoods, fenders, and other places not designed for passengers though cargo beds may be included within the scope of the law. Regardless of state law, you may wish to consult your policy to be certain that passengers in the bed or cargo space are covered. Because pickup truck beds are designed to carry cargo, not people, there are no federal requirements regarding passengers in cargo beds. Arkansas also has separate laws regarding child restraints.
Arkansas does not have a law specifically requiring animals to be secured when being transported in the open area of a vehicle. In other words, the animal does not need to be restrained or secured whether inside an enclosed part of the vehicle or within the cargo bed. However laws prohibiting animal cruelty may always be invoked if a police officer determines that a transportation method rises to the standard of cruelty to animals. Both the ASPCA and the American Humane Association recommend restraining dogs when transporting them in pickup truck cargo beds.