ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Dogs love car rides. But is it legal for a dog to ride in the bed of a pickup truck in Illinois?
According to American Humane, it’s not safe. An estimated 100,000 dogs die each year from riding in truck beds, from jumping or falling out, or from flying rocks and debris that cause injury.
However, only six states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) have laws making it illegal to transport a dog on a public road in the back of an open-bed vehicle.
While many dogs go along for car rides with their owners and stick their heads out of windows, it is illegal for a dog to sit on a driver’s lap in Illinois.
According to HB1581, drivers are prohibited from holding an animal in their lap while driving unless the driver is operating a commercial motor vehicle or an agricultural motor vehicle.
Breaking the rule is considered a petty offense, with a fine of no more than $25.
However, it is illegal for a human passenger to ride in the bed of a pickup truck.
The Illinois Vehicle Code requires that all passengers wear seatbelts.
The Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/) clearly states that “each driver and passenger of a motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this State shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat safety belt.”
The Child Passenger Safety Act requires that all children under the age of 16 be secured by a seat belt or child safety seat.