CARRY PASSENGERS IN BACK OF A OPEN PICK UP TRUCK

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Jeremy Duffy
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CARRY PASSENGERS IN BACK OF A OPEN PICK UP TRUCK

Unread post by Jeremy Duffy on

My friend and I got into a discussion as to whether it is legal or not for a driver to carry passengers in the back of a pick up truck on a public road / highway.

I told him that (best I know) that it is illegal to do so in the Province of Ontario. He claims that there is nothing wrong with that practice and you can carry people in the back of the pick up (even though they have no seat belts) providing that they are sitting down while the vehicle is in motion.

Can anyone quote the section of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that says you can not do this?

Jeremy Duffy
Toronto, Ontario


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear on

Jeremy,

Here is a topic of previous discussion http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic2572.html
The subject has gone both ways (legal and illegal)

Here is the sections of the HTA
Use of seat belt assembly by passenger
106 (3) Every person who is at least 16 years old and is a passenger in a motor vehicle on a highway shall,
(a) occupy a seating position for which a seat belt assembly has been provided; and
(b) wear the complete seat belt assembly as required by subsection (5).

How to wear seat belt assembly
106(5) A seat belt assembly shall be worn so that,
(a) the pelvic restraint is worn firmly against the body and across the hips;
(b) the torso restraint, if there is one, is worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest;
(c) the pelvic restraint, and the torso restraint, if there is one, are securely fastened; and
(d) no more than one person is wearing the seat belt assembly at any one time

Now add in HTA Ontario Regulation 613
10. Where a motor vehicle manufactured without seat belt assemblies for each seating position and not modified so that there is a seat belt assembly for each seating position is driven on a highway,
(a) the driver is exempt from the requirement of subsection 106 (2) of the Act to wear a seat belt assembly if there is no seat belt assembly at the driver’s seating position;
(b) a passenger is exempt from the requirement of subsection 106 (3) of the Act to wear a seat belt assembly if the passenger occupies a position without a seat belt assembly and there is no other available seating position with a seat belt assembly

So the actual discussion would be focused around the very last line above (bold/underline)
- all interior seating positions MUST be occupied
- now it all comes down to what a seating position is?
One that has a physically installed proper seat? or somewhere to sit ones' behind on?

a) installed proper seat is generally enclosed and offers protection to each person from collisions and keeps them in that position. Even convertibles are built for rollover with super strong "A" pillars supporting windshield, the rear passengers are protected as they are sunk down and the "A" pillar angle to trunk is higher than the rear passengers head, plus they have seatbelts on
b) sit anywhere (back of truck) no protection from anything, wind even circulates debris into face, hard braking and who knows what might happen
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


netwarden
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Unread post by netwarden on

Many responses in various forums and articles have not been concise on this issue, so I asked a Ministry of Transportation Ontario enforcement officer this question.

The short simple answer is NO it is not legal to have passengers in the back of a pick up truck on a public road / highway.
Out at camp or on a back road you would likely get away with it, however on a higher speed road / highway you will likely get a ticket.

His explanation/interpretation of the HTA is that the truck is not manufactured with a seat in the box, thus it is not a passenger position.
(b) a passenger is exempt from the requirement of subsection 106 (3) of the Act to wear a seat belt assembly if the passenger occupies a position without a seat belt assembly and there is no other available seating position with a seat belt assembly
This refers to vehicles that are manufactured with seats that don't have seat belts (like a bus or recreational vehicle with couches, benches, and/or beds)

So I asked him about if I installed a seat in the back (just to explore the options). The answer to that is the seat would have to have the pelvic restraint and the torso restraint and be attached to the truck box. However he does not recommend doing so, as it would likely still attract unwanted traffic police attention.

Then I asked him about a truck camper in the box. In his opinion then that would change the classification of your vehicle to an RV and thus you could have people in the camper if the seats in the truck were taken.

To sum it up all passengers must occupy a seating position installed by the manufacturer to be legal.


argyll
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Unread post by argyll on

I've charged for this and got convictions every time. You cannot have people in the back of a pickup.
Former Ontario Police Officer. Advice will become less relevant as the time goes by !


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bobajob
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Unread post by bobajob on

this is like really stupid, not aiming the comment at anyone.

Listen, you put a few people in an open box, with NO seats and no restraining devices.
What do you think is going to happen to them, if you swerve, get hit, or roll over.

Even in an enclosed car with belts you can get seriously injured, so how much more so, without that?

really, really stupid
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Observer135
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Unread post by Observer135 on

I'm sorry, but let's get real...
When did we become 3rd world country transporting people in the back of a pickup truck?
My 10 year old and I sure got a good laugh...
I would expect the driver to get charged and the charge would stick like crazy glue...

In my opinion the MTO officer has the correct interpretation, there are no seats in the box of a truck, thus you can not have passengers there.


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

My understanding is that exemptions were left in as a concession to farm and construction workers, who sometimes drive short distances between job sites with workers in the back.

I don't disagree that it's unsafe and a loophole that should be closed, but I still think the way the law is currently written that one could argue the point successfully in Court as long as A) The passenger is over 8 years of age and B) there are no seating positions with belts available.

Edit: Just found an older Wheels article in which the author says the MTO states there was an exemption left in for farmers, etc.
In answer to a reader’s question, laws prohibiting unbelted passengers inside motor vehicles were enacted in 2006. However, while we don’t advocate it, unsecured riders over the age of 8 in a pickup box continue to be legal to this day.

Government officials advise that this concession was made to allow farmers to continue to legally transport workers in the back of pickup trucks. These are typically short trips in or around the farm property.

Detractors to this policy should note that even if an outright ban on unbelted riders were imposed, farmers could confine such trips to internal private roads to get around any new HTA prohibitions.
http://www.wheels.ca/news/auto-know-are ... kup-legal/


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Decatur
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Unread post by Decatur on

I'm just not seeing any exemption in the regulations that would cover farm workers or construction works in the bed of a pickup truck.


Stanton
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Unread post by Stanton on

No, I don't believe it's an actual written exemption either so much as a (poorly) worded section that could be interpreted as to allowing it.






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