Is It Legal to Ride in the Bed of a Truck in Maine?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
There's no shortage of trucks on the roads throughout the state of Maine. Pickup trucks are particularly popular, as they're efficient in the winter and can battle the terrain in many of the most rural parts of the state. Trucks are often a staple of many outdoor activities in Maine, including camping, hunting, rafting, and more. During certain seasons in Maine, you'll often see truck beds filled with several people traveling to a destination. But is it legal to ride in the bed of a truck in Maine?
Yes, It is Legal to Ride in a Truck Bed in Maine, as Long as You Are 19 Years Old
There are many states in which riding in a truck bed is illegal, but there are many more where you need be 18 or older. According to Maine.gov, Maine is the only state in the country where you have to be 19 or older to ride in a truck bed legally. Anyone younger than 19 years of age must ride in the compartment portion of a pickup truck.
There Are Some Exceptions to the Law, Including for Agriculture
There's a handful of exemptions to the law that allow riding in a truck bed no matter the age of the individual. One of the those exemptions is for agricultural work. This exemption was put into place for potato harvesting season in the county, but makes an allowance for all agricultural workers to be transported in the back of a truck bed between work or training locations.
Other Exemptions Exist as Well, Including for Hunting and Parades
There's a handful of other existing exemptions that are less common but still applicable. Participants in parades are allowed to ride in a truck bed no matter their age. During hunting season, persons under the age of 19 can ride in a truck bed as long as they actively heading to or coming back from a hunting location.
One Last Rare Exemption
There's an additional exemption that exists but rarely comes up. If a truck bed has a manufacturer-installed seatbelt, persons under the age of 19 can ride in the bed of that truck. This is a more common practice in warmer-weather states, but Maine has the provision built into the law in the event someone takes those steps.