Florida has laws regulating seatbelts and child restraints but also rules regulating where passengers can ride in a vehicle. This article explains when a passenger or pet can ride in the bed of a pickup truck and the penalties for violations.
Florida’s seatbelt laws require front-seat passengers and passengers under 18 years old to be restrained by a seatbelt or child safety seat. Passengers can ride without a seatbelt in the bed of a pickup or flatbed truck but only if they are 18 years or older. Minors are allowed to be in the bed of a truck only if properly restrained in an approved and secured restraint or if supervised by an adult in emergency situations. And children under six years old are still subject to Florida’s child restraint laws.
Permitting a passenger to unlawfully ride in the bed of a pickup truck carries a $30 fine for the driver. Allowing a passenger to ride on the hood, on the fender, or in the trunk carries a $60 fine. Exemptions to the normal rules exist for parades and entertainers.
In Florida, there are no regulations for passenger pets. However, certain Florida counties, like Oskaloosa, have passed their own rules prohibiting unrestrained animals in unenclosed vehicles. The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends that pets be secured either in a kennel in the truck bed or by a harness inside the cab.