South Carolina has rules regarding seatbelts and child restraints inside vehicles as well as rules governing passengers outside of the vehicle interior. This article explains the law that applies to the transportation of passengers and pets in the back of a pickup truck.
South Carolina's seatbelt law requires all vehicle occupants to wear a seatbelt. The law also requires children under eight years old to use a child safety seat.
The law in South Carolina regarding truck-bed passengers is somewhat unclear. Children under 15 years old are prohibited from riding in the bed of a truck or trailer unless one of the exceptions applies (see below). For teenagers ages 15 to 18, there's no explicit prohibition on riding in a truck bed, but doing so may lead to a seatbelt violation. And adults in the bed of a truck won't likely be ticketed but do so at their own risk to personal injury.
For children who are eight to 15 years old, riding in the bed of an open truck bed or trailer is allowed only:
Permitting an unlawful truck bed passenger carries a $25 fine and is a misdemeanor. However, these violations won't lead to insurance surcharges or license points.
South Carolina law doesn't prohibit the transportation of animals in truck beds. However, it may be possible for some unrestrained pet situations to result in an animal abuse or a distracted driving charge. In any case, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that pets be secured either by a kennel in the truck bed or by a harness inside the cab.