MISSOURI (NEXSTAR) – If you grew up in Missouri with someone who owned a pickup truck, chances are you rode in the bed of that truck at least once or twice.

There are a lot of reasons one might ride in the back of a truck, especially since it can feel liberating to do so. But is it legal?

Missouri law does not forbid anyone 18 or older from riding in the open bed of a truck or trailer.

However, the same cannot be said for those younger than 18. Drivers caught with a minor riding in the bed of a truck or on a trailer can face up to 15 days in jail or a fine of up to $700.

There are some exceptions to this rule. The restrictions do not apply to:

  • An employee engaged in the necessary discharge of the employee’s duties where it is necessary to ride in the unenclosed bed of the truck
  • Anyone engaged in agricultural activities where it is necessary to ride in the unenclosed bed of the truck
  • Anyone riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck while such truck is being operated in a parade, caravan or exhibition which is authorized by law
  • Anyone riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck if such truck has installed a means of preventing such person from being discharged or such person is secured to the truck in a manner which will prevent the person from being thrown, falling or jumping from the truck
  • Anyone riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck if such truck is being operated solely for the purposes of participating in a special event and it is necessary that the person ride in such unenclosed bed due to a lack of available seating.
  • Anyone riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck if such truck is being operated solely for the purposes of providing assistance to, or ensuring the safety of, other persons engaged in a recreational activity
  • Anyone riding in the unenclosed bed of a truck if such truck is the only legally titled, licensed and insured vehicle owned by the family of the person riding in the unenclosed bed and there is insufficient room in the passenger cab of the truck to accommodate all passengers in such truck.

Other states also have restrictions on who can ride in the bed of a truck or trailer. For example, drivers in Texas transporting anyone younger than 18 in the bed of a truck or on a trailer can face a fine between $25 and $200.

Regardless of age, the risk of traveling without a seatbelt still exists, and drivers should be aware of how dangerous traveling with riders in the back of a truck or trailer can be.