Policy allowing riders in truck beds is outdated

Many of us are pleased to see that our politicians who are safety minded have passed into law that those seated in the back seats of a vehicle must wear the provided safety belts like those seated up front. Those not wearing the safety belts in the vehicle will be subject to a $92 fine.

Yet it is quite common to see either adults or teens sitting in the back of an open truck bed with no safety harnesses.

When asking an officer, I’ve been told, “Sir, this is an agricultural area.” On the Mainland, agricultural roads are usually a small dirt or gravel road, thereby limiting the vehicle speeds to 15 to 20 mph. Yet here we see single or multiple adults or teens riding in these open truck beds at speeds of 25 to 55 mph on the state or county roads without any safety products for the occupants to use.

The days of agricultural dirt and gravel roads are nearly gone here. When will our politicians note that the laws must be adapted uniformly for the state and county roads for those riding in the back of trucks be stopped or safety devices of some sort be used so as to avoid future injuries or deaths due to a policy that is outdated and is extremely unsafe for the islands? State and county roads use higher posted speeds. Do we wait until a disaster occurs before our politicians correct this unsafe problem?

Let’s hear a politician’s answer.

Stanley Zajac