Are people allowed to ride in the back of trucks?

| 15/05/2019

What does the law state about people riding in the back of pickup trucks? I know many people that have received tickets for not wearing a seatbelt but then I see guys in the back of trucks (which have no protection whatsoever) all the time. What gives?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: It is illegal for people to ride in the back of trucks. The law (actually more than one) is very clear on this. With the help of the RCIPS, I was able to navigate my way through the various laws and regulations to find the relevant sections.

Before I explain those, however, I feel compelled to say that of course it is against the law. Of course, it is not safe to be sitting in the back of a truck without any safety mechanism to keep you secure. What happens if the truck gets hit from behind, for starters? It doesn’t take a genius to see the inherent dangers for passengers hanging out in the bed of a moving truck.

But if common sense and a desire to get from point A to point B without any injuries from an accident aren’t enough, let me give a brief outline of the law.

Section 17(2) of The Traffic Regulations (2017 Revision) says, “…where the load of a vehicle or trailer includes passengers, account shall be taken of the number of passengers carried by the vehicle or trailer and the manner in which they are carried in or on such vehicle or trailer”. And (3) says, “No vehicle may carry passengers in excess of the number – (a) specified by the manufacturer; (b) stated in the registration document; or (c) authorised by the Director (of Licensing).”

Under that regulation, it is clear that plunking oneself down on the bed of a truck is not one of the options “specified by the manufacturer”, among other requirements.

In addition, and perhaps more convincing to drivers, Section 4 of the Vehicle Insurance (Third Party Risks) Law (2012 Revision), which sets out the requirements for an insurance policy, adds that it will not have to cover (x) “liability in respect of the death of or injury to any person being a passenger in a vehicle, except such passenger is seated in a seat fitted to the vehicle by the manufacturer thereof for the purpose of accommodating passengers”. Translation: only people sitting in actual seats installed by the car maker will be covered under an insurance policy.

For good measure, Section 4 of The Traffic (Seat Belt) Regulations, 2012, not surprisingly says that a vehicle shall be fitted with a seat belt on the driver’s seat and each passenger seat. Section 5 adds that every adult driving, in the front seat or in the rear seat of a “relevant vehicle” (car, oversize vehicle, special vehicle or truck) shall wear a seat belt.

I could continue, but I think I’ve made my point.

As for ticketing these offenders, you may have noticed that the police are cracking down on traffic miscreants such as those carrying unsafe loads on trucks, but they have also stressed that they will be looking out for people riding in the backs of these vehicles.

The laws mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (8)

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  1. You might be a redneck if... says:

    My well to do, white Caymanian neighbor used to zoom up and down the road with his two toddlers in the back of his truck for their amusement. That just speaks volumes about the mindset of some here in Cayman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What people do not understand is that if you have on your four way flashers, the laws do not apply.

  3. Anonymous says:

    So if “Section 4 of The Traffic (Seat Belt) Regulations, 2012” requires school bus seats to have seatbelts then why don’t they?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don’t we have bigger things to worry about? Like what about the cost of living?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, we should worry about that too! Perhaps multitasking is hard for you. Others manage quite well to work to address multiple things that are plainly broken, at the same time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cost of living goes to zero on death.