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DENVER (KDVR) — Have you ever been driving down the road and noticed someone riding in the bed of a truck? You might have thought to yourself, “is that even legal?”

FOX31 reached out to Colorado State Patrol, and they said that it is legal, but there are some stipulations.

What does the law say?

It is legal for a seated passenger who is at least 16 years old to ride in the bed of a truck, as long as the tailgate is closed, or the area they’re sitting in is enclosed on all sides.

“With that being said, we urge people to ride in the passenger compartment of the vehicle with proper restraint use.  We know seatbelts drastically reduce injury and death risk during collisions,” Sergeant Troy Kessler with CSP said. We still urge people to make the best possible and safest choice. Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you should.”

Anyone 15 or younger must be properly restrained.

However, if you have a passenger in the bed of your truck, you must do it safely or it could lead to reckless driving considerations from law enforcement.

“Once a driver begins driving recklessly and is putting either people or the animal at risk, other concerns come into play,” Kessler said.

Seat belt law in Colorado

Colorado law requires the driver and every front seat passenger of a motor vehicle and the driver and every passenger in an autocycle equipped with a safety belt system to wear a seat belt whenever the vehicle is in operation on a street or highway.  

Colorado’s child restraint law requires that children 15 years old and younger riding in a vehicle be properly restrained, regardless of seating position

A driver who violates the seat belt law can face a $65 fine with a $6 surcharge.

Can your dog ride in a truck bed?

There are no laws against having a dog in the bed of a truck. However, if driving with your dog in the back of your truck endangers it, then you could face animal cruelty charges. Colorado law forbids animal abuse, neglect or abandonment under Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-202.