Someone shot a video of the seats on Snapchat while driving down Route 54 outside of Wichita last month. “Tf is this even allowed” was their original caption, which someone added “Wichita what’s wrong with your people?” when they posted the clip to Twitter.
Those seem like fair questions until you realize that the seats are, amazingly, legal.
A company called BedRyder made the seats, and even though it went out of business last winter (a few years after an unsuccessful Shark Tank appearance) its patented product remains in compliance with all relevant U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and therefore is legal in all 50 states, though some do have additional restrictions.
Wichita what’s wrong with your people? pic.twitter.com/V2DtgKOPp3
— Dimitri 🐅 (@yungiccyd) September 2, 2019
And that wouldn’t even matter in Kansas. Anyone over 14 can ride in a pickup truck in that state, and the law for kids under 14 says they can’t ride on any part of a vehicle “not designed or intended for use of passengers when the vehicle is in motion,” which the BedRyder definitely is.
#KansasLaw states it is illegal for people under the age of 14 to ride in truck beds, unless they are participating in a parade or using the truck bed for employment purposes.
— Trooper Ben (@TrooperBenKHP) September 3, 2019
The question of whether a parent should let their kids ride, even properly restrained, in the bed of a pickup truck barreling down a highway is a separate one. It seems safer to keep kids ensconced in the cabin, where they can communicate with the driver and enjoy the various safety features designed to protect interior passengers in the event of a crash.
It’s all kind of a moot point, given that BedRyder has been out of business for nearly a year, but if you happen to see pickup truck with kids strapped into one know that you shouldn’t call the cops, though your parental instincts might tempt you to.