Truck Bed Dangers
In the past ten years more than 1500 people have been injured while riding in the bed of a truck and more than 70 passengers have been killed.
Each state has their own law on riding in the bed of a truck.
Now one North Central Florida family is fighting to get the state law changed.
"It plays over and over in my mind why he was back there. I'll never know," said Tanya Lay.
On January 4, 2013, 17 -year- old Kyle Lay jumped in the bed of a pickup truck..
Not knowing what would happen next.
The driver was traveling down this road when a 75- year -old man struck the pick up truck.
"It sent the truck spinning around and that's when i seen the kid fly from the back of the truck and he hit the tree," said Darrell Roberts.
Kyle was the only one riding in the truck bed and was the only one who lost his life that day.
"This is the last place my son took his last breath," said Tanya.
The 17- year- old from Dunnellon, planned on joining the military and helping abused children.
Kyles' mother Tanya Lay, his father David Stone and his brother Demetri set up this memorial at the location where Kyle lost his life. After the tragedy, the family has become dedicated to getting the current law changed.
"A kid will get to get in the back of a truck if you allow him because it's freedom. We weren't there when our child got killed. If we were he would've been in the bed of a truck. I guarantee you," said Stone.
Florida statute 316. 2015 explains that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to to ride in the flatbed of a truck, but only when driving on an interstate or a large highway.
"Our son got killed doing 25 miles per hour. It wasn't 70 or 75 on an interstate. So it should be illegal on all roads. period," said Stone.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these 20 states do not have any state law in place.
The other 30 currently have at least some restrictions.
Florida being one of them, but Kyle's family believes the Florida law does not protect children from being safe on the roads.
"It's not logical to me if they are in the cab of a vehicle, the operator of the vehicle is responsible for that minor to be in a seatbelt, but I am allowed to put them in the bed of my truck without a seatbelt," said Stone.
Instead they want the law to ban anyone under the age of 18 from riding in the bed of a truck on any type of road.
"You can't be with your children at all times. So by getting these laws changed, by getting this awareness out there it blankets people to where maybe it brings it to mind that this is dangerous. Not just on the Interstate doing 70. Twenty-five miles per hour will kill you," said Stone.
Kyles' mother and father have contacted law enforcement agencies, the governor and other state officials in hopes of proposing a bill in the 2014 legislative session.
The family recently met with Representative Charlie Stone.
"I think at this point in time it's appropriate for the Florida statue to be looked at, analyzed and perhaps restructured so that we can have more jurisdiction and more control over the riders in the back of a pick up truck to prevent those tragic accidents," said Stone.
Stone said he is planning on researching how it would impact communities as well as the state and if there are any exemptions that need to be addressed.
"Such as the agricultural, the farmers perhaps would need some exemption in order to allow them to transport farm workers from one field to the other," said Stone.
"I know we are going to get the politics of it and the opposition,but let's do it. We are not stopping," said Stone.
The family has created a facebook page, t-shirts and bumper stickers that read" Truck Beds are for KARGOS not Kids."
"He is our driving force behind what we are doing. It's not going to bring him back and we understand that, but his memory will live on forever in these words," said Stone.
As they strive to change the law, the main goal is to make people think twice about what could happen if your child sents foot in the flatbed of a truck.
"If it takes 30 years and we save one then it's all been worth it," said Stone.
This past legislative session, the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommitee voted down a bill that would ban kids under six to ride in the bed of a truck.
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