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Letter to the editor: Car seat or truck bed, both legal for children



I have seen numerous trucks driving in Emery County with passengers in the back of pickup trucks. The most recent incident was when I was just outside of Huntington heading North on Highway 10. A large truck passed me in the passing lane and in the bed of the pickup truck were about 10 young children. A highway patrol car headed south passed right by us and I was very surprised when the officer didn't pull the truck over. Why is it OK to have children hanging over the sides of truck beds but not for passengers to be unrestrained inside vehicles? This makes no sense to me.

I agree with having seatbelt laws and that all drivers and passengers should be restrained in a moving vehicle. Although, I find the fact that it's OK for an officer to pull a vehicle over if they can see that an occupant under 19 years of age is unrestrained, but not pulling over the obvious vehicle with passengers unrestrained in the truck bed is unfair. It's clearly more dangerous.

I discovered on the Utah Department of Public Safety website that the Utah law does not prohibit passengers from riding in the back of a pickup truck, but it did state that it's not recommended and if riding in the back, sit close to the cab. The Utah seat belt law declares that a driver must be stopped if any passengers under 19 years of age are not wearing seat belts. For some reason I find this to be contradicting, or maybe it's just me.

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