I saw someone mention that it's completely illegal to ride in the back of a truck bed if you are in Illinois. That's technically not accurate as there are some exceptions, but they are very specific.

Get our free mobile app

I decided to explore this topic purely out of curiosity. I grew up in a different era when we all rode in the back of pickups, drank from water hoses and did most of the things that society now frowns upon. However, just because I did it doesn't mean that it makes sense to do it now. I have been reminded that I am frequently the poster child for "DON'T".

With that in mind, let's explore whether you can legally ride in the back of a pickup in Illinois. The short answer is most of the time not, but there are exceptions. If you'd like to read the long version (and have a lot of time on your hands, you can see the entire (625 ILCS 5/) Illinois Vehicle Code here. Illinois Legal Aid simplified it greatly and I'll happily summarize.

Here are the scenarios where you can legally ride in the back of a pickup in Illinois based on my research and with much help from Illinois Legal Aid.

  • Anyone any age can be in a truck bed if you're being towed in a parade and the truck is going less than 15 mph
  • Anyone over 18 can ride in a truck bed that is going less than 15 mph and you need to be buckled up
  • You can ride in the back of a truck bed if you are over 18 and it's deemed that you're being transported from a situation that would be more dangerous (e.g. - you were in an accident and you'd have to stand on the side of a road)

I rode in the back of my dad's El Camino when I was a kid coming back from baseball games back before laws were passed to prohibit it and I survived (to the dismay of many). Looking back, I can see how that might have ended badly and I'm not recommending anyone defy the law now. No doubt it's much safer to be inside of a vehicle wearing a seat belt instead of flailing in the wind. But, know there are some exceptions to this understandable safety rule in Illinois.

Illinois' Most Romantic Place is This Hot Tub in the Woods

More From 100.9 The Eagle, The Tri-States' Classic Rock Station