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Passengers Must Only Ride in Seats and in Vehicles Meant to Carry Them


California Motor Vehicle Code 21712 requires all passengers to be inside the vehicle in intended seating. You cannot allow passengers to ride in anything while you are towing it.

If you have ever seen an accident involving a camper, you’ll know why it’s a bad idea to allow passengers to ride in it while it’s being towed. Most campers and travel trailers bust apart like Popsicle sticks when they roll over or are hit from behind. Anyone traveling inside them if this happens will likely suffer serious or life-threatening injuries.

If you’ve ever watched an episode of America’s Funniest Videos, you’ve probably seen someone pulling a skater or skier through town behind their car. Don’t do this! It is illegal and extremely dangerous. If you’re the driver, you are responsible for the safety of all your passengers, even the ones who do stupid things. What would you do if your tire threw a rock into the skater’s eye? A few seconds of thrill is not worth the life long consequences that go along with it.

If safety doesn’t keep you from towing passengers with your car, maybe monetary costs will. For your first offense, you could expect to pay $150-$200 after court costs. You will also have points added to your license, which may raise your insurance rates. Moreover, if your passengers is injured you will most likely be responsible for medical costs now and in the future.

Sometimes emergencies arise that may require one person to ride in a disabled vehicle while someone else is towing it. Remember, this is still illegal. If an officer issues a ticket for a violation of vehicle code 21712, accept it politely and then contact an attorney. If you have proper documentation to show the courts that it was a true emergency, the judge should understand.

If you have been injured in an accident a good personal injury lawyer such as those at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys may be able to help you. Contacting a lawyer immediately will preserve your rights under the law.

To find out more on this and other traffic laws, please see the complete listing of California Motor Vehicle Codes.

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