State Capitol News
9:09 am
Mon January 31, 2011

State Lawmakers Debate Changing Law on Children Riding in

Phoenix, AZ – The issue is whether children should be allowed to ride in the
back of open pickup trucks. Right now that practice remains
legal. Rep. Dorris Goodale of Kingman said she agreed to co-
sponsor the legislation at the request of a constituent whose son
made, in her words, a bad decision, and now is dead.

(It's kind of an anomoly that if you move a refrigerator or you
move a couch, you have to restrain that for the safety of the
surrounding public. But you don't have to restrain a child.)

Rep. Matt Heinz of Tucson expressed that in slightly different
form.

(A carcass has to be tied down. So your dead elk, or your dead
deer, has to be tied down. But not your 4-year-old.)

But the measure, which has been pushed for more than a dozen
years, continues to face opposition over what some, like Glendale
Rep. Jerry Weiers, suggested is the fundamental question of who
is responsible for keeping kids safe.

(At what point does government step in and tell you you're too
stupid to take care of your kids? And that's the thing that
everybody in here has to ask themselves. At what point do we give
up our freedoms to the government?)

The measure is set for debate this Thursday morning in the House
Transportation Committee. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.