State Capitol News
Thu February 3, 2011
House Panel Agrees to Put Restrictions on Kids in Back of Pickup Trucks
Phoenix, AZ – Rep. Matt Heinz sought an outright ban on children riding in the
open bed of pickup trucks. That was not going to happen
politically. So he crafted the measure to say it would not apply
on private lands, Indian reservations and any road posted at 35
miles an hour or less. But to get the bill out of the House
Transportation Committee he had to agree to allow kids to be in
pickup beds if they're in a seat with a belt -- or if they're
wearing a helmet. Rep. Eric Meyer said he's not happy -- but
figures it's the best deal to be had.
(I mean, I'm just picturing a 3-year-old with a big motorcycle
helmet on flying out of a truck. So, if it's what it takes to get
the bill passed, OK. But in my mind, it's better to keep someone
restrained in a vehicle.)
The heavily amended measure even says police cannot stop someone
solely because a kid is riding in the back of a pickup. But even
with all that, three legislators said they could not support it.
Rep. Karen Fann said it still represents an unnecessary intrusion
(Unfortunately, we do have to legislate common sense and stupid.
But to what degree. If we do that we would have so many laws on
the books that we would be overwhelmed.)
The measure faces an uncertain future when it goes to the full
House. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.