From the Texas Transportation Institute (TAMU)… *The research results showed that 4,242 cargo bed incidents occurred over a ten-year period, the majority of the drivers involved were young males, and 231 deaths occurred. But the statistics, according to De La Zerda, are probably underrepresented because crash reports do not clearly provide an appropriate abbreviation for coding the seating position, and as a result law enforcement officials are using multiple abbreviations. For example, the project staff read about 500 crash reports, and discovered that an additional 35 persons should have been coded as passengers riding in the rear of the truck.
At the time of the project, Texas state law stated that anyone could ride in an open bed under the speed of 35 miles per hour. As of last year, that law has changed. According to Transportation Code 545.414, a person commits an offense if the person operates an open-bed pickup truck or an open flatbed truck or draws an open flatbed trailer when a child younger than 18 years of age is occupying the bed of the truck or trailer. *
From the Tx DPS, there’s this following…
*(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $200.
© It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the person was:
(1) operating or towing the vehicle in a parade or in an emergency;
(2) operating the vehicle to transport farmworkers from one field to another field on a farm-to-market road, ranch-to-market road, or county road outside a municipality;
(3) operating the vehicle on a beach;
(4) operating a vehicle that is the only vehicle owned or operated by members of the household;
(5) or operating the vehicle in a hayride permitted by the governing body of or law enforcement agency of each county or municipality in which the hayride will occur.
(a) Compliance or noncompliance with Subsection (a) is not admissible evidence in a civil trial.
(b) In this section, “household” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.005, Family Code. *