There’s no restraining kids in pick-up beds

Published 12:27 am Saturday, July 27, 2013

Here in the rural South, riding in the back of your daddy’s or granddaddy’s truck is almost a rite of passage. What kid – or grown-up, for that matter – hasn’t loved the freedom of sitting “in the back” with the wind blowing through his or her hair?

The recent deaths of five in separate Alabama accidents should make us rethink how much we like that. In each case, a child or teen was thrown from the truck in a crash, and died as a result. Just this week, a 13-year-old died in Brewton. His death is made more tragic in that he was a cancer survivor who already had fought hard to live. Both the driver and the child’s mother, a passenger in the cab of the truck, have been charged with reckless murder. Alcohol and drugs were involved.

Alabama is one of 19 states where it is not, technically, illegal to ride in the back of a pick-up. However, Alabama law does require passengers 15 and under to be restrained.

Fun though it may be, it makes sense that children, who are wont to move on a whim, not be allowed to ride in the back of a pick-up traveling on a busy highway.

Reserve that freedom for the farm, put an adult in the back to make the children sit down, and make sure the driver is the safest one you know.

Otherwise, it’s not a chance worth taking.