Did You Know It’s Illegal in Texas to Put This in Your Truck Bed?
You use your truck bed for hauling things, right? Isn't that the point of having a truck?
You may not realize this, but in Texas there are some rules about how to use the back of your truck. Where does the law draw the line?
Texas Truck Laws
You are not allowed to carry a load that extends more than three feet beyond the front or more than four feet past the back of your vehicle (except as permitted by other law), according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Texas does not prohibit animals from riding in truck beds. But you may want to check local rules because some cities, including Dallas, criminalize the unsecured transportation of animals.
The City of Killeen doesn't have a specific law about putting animals in a truck bed, but does prohibit non-service animals at sporting, recreational, and public events (section 6-44). 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.
You Can't Legally Do This in Texas
The Texas Department of Public Safety website states that you cannot operate an open-bed pickup truck, an open flatbed truck, or an open flatbed trailer if a child younger than 18 years of age is in the bed of the truck or trailer.
Exceptions include riding in the bed of the truck during an emergency; if the vehicle is being driven on the beach, in a parade, or if the driver is taking workers from one field to another on a farm-to-market, ranch-to-market, or county road outside city limits. The DPS says you must be able to prove to a judge that the pickup truck was your only vehicle, and there was no other option.
Punishment for Breaking the Law
Letting anyone under the age of 18 ride in the bed of your truck is a misdemeanor offense, and fines can range anywhere from $25 to $200 according to the Texas DPS website.