RALEIGH -- A bill to raise the minimum age to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck will get some work after a charged floor debate. The House agreed Thursday to refer to another committee the bill that would prohibit children under 16 from riding in the cargo area. Current law allows kids as young as 12 to ride in the back, with several exceptions. The bill removes one exemption for people who live in more rural counties. Democratic Rep. Ronnie Sutton of Robeson County complained that many rural families in his district still need to use the cargo area to ferry their kids, with adult supervision. The bill would fine drivers $25, assess driver's license points and could increase automobile insurance rates. The measure has yet to be heard in the Senate. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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