On my drive in to work this morning, I passed a pick-up truck on the interstate with a child riding in the bed of the truck. He looked to be about 11 or 12, and there was one of those cover/roof things attached over the truck bed, though the back window of it was open. It seemed like a dangerous way to be travelling, and I instantly started wondering if I should call the police. Not 911, but the "urgency without emergency" number they advertise on billboards, which I fortunately had entered into my phone once upon a time.
As I was about to dial, however, I started equivocating. It felt like tattling, and I didn't want to make a big deal over something if it wasn't.
Maybe it's not really against the law. The child was well over the age where a child-seat would have been required.
I know seat belts are the law for drivers. Are they mandatory for passengers?
Is it illegal for a human to ride in the bed of a pickup? (as opposed to dogs, which also make me nervous when they're trying to keep their balance, flying along at 75 mph.)
Is it a higher-level misdemeanor than speeding? (which, of course, I was doing at the moment.) In his defense, the driver of the pickup was driving below the speed limit, and I was miles ahead of him as contemplated all these things for the remainder of my commute.
I feel kind of guilty about my possible "sin of omission." I'm at least inspired to learn the local laws regarding child restraint for older children, etc. so I can be confident in my objection next time. (If it had been an infant riding on an adult's lap that I'd witnessed, I wouldn't have hesitated a second!)
What would you have done?