Archived Story

Ask Trooper Rob: Safe riding

Published 9:17am Thursday, July 10, 2014

“Trooper Rob, over the Fourth of July weekend, I saw numerous people riding around in the back of pick-up trucks. I thought that was illegal. Can you clarify this?” – Lou from Niles

Excellent question Lou. Many questions have been asked in the past and it is always good to refresh everyone’s knowledge of some of the basics to keep everyone safe.

MVC 257.682b, Permitting person under 18 to ride in open bed of pickup truck prohibited; exceptions; civil infraction states “(1) Except as provided in this section, an operator shall not permit a person less than 18 years of age to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck on a highway, road or street in a city, village, or township at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to the operator of any of the following: (a) A motor vehicle operated as part of a parade pursuant to a permit issued by the governmental unit with jurisdiction over the highway or street. (b) A military motor vehicle. (c) An authorized emergency vehicle. (d) A motor vehicle controlled or operated by an employer or an employee of a farm operation, construction business, or similar enterprise during the course of work activities. (e) A motor vehicle used to transport a search and rescue team to and from the site of an emergency. (3) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

This week’s Do 1 Thing tip continues with tips for communication. Program “In Case of Emergency (ICE)” numbers into all family cell phones. If you are hurt and can’t talk, first responders and hospital staff may not know how to contact your family right away. If you have a cell phone, you can provide the phone numbers for your emergency contacts to first responders and hospital staff.

Create a new contact in your cell phone’s phone book, name the contact ICE, and enter all phone numbers for the person you would like to have notified in a medical emergency.

On a side note, concerning emergency contacts, if you are an outdoorsman, runner, or bicyclist, the “Road ID” a Velcro wrist or ankle bracelet or a necklace with emergency contact information. I wear the reflective ankle bracelet when riding my bicycle. It does give peace of mind.


Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to


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