My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Texas
I was giving 4 others a ride in a state park in my pickup. The bed has a camper shell and was full with items. The passenger seats had some items as well because I was traveling alone. We managed to fit all 5 (me + 4) people in the car to get to the park from the campgrounds. Once at the park, we all had to exit the vehicle to check in with the front office. Once we were checked in, we had to move to an adjacent parking lot because the front office only has temporary parking. We had all been here before and since we knew that it's a very quick ride (google maps says 0.2 mi), 2 people said they'll just stand on the back instead of cramming into the car again. To be clear, they weren't standing in the truck bed (has a camper shell as I mentioned above). They were standing on the platform behind the truck and holding onto the bars on the camper. The posted speed limit is 20 and I was going between 10 and 15. I left my window open and told them to yell and slam on the car if they felt sketchy at all during the ride.
We all safely got to the other parking lot without trouble but a state parks police officer caught sight of it and issued me a reckless driving citation. I understand that it may have been potentially risky but I don't feel like it deserves a reckless driving ticket. My biggest concern is the reckless driving record and the consequent increase in insurance premiums. I requested a court date and though I hope that it's dismissed, I would be willing to plead no contest if the fine's reduced (right now it's set at $560) and the charge amended and kept off the record.
How should I proceed? Can I bring my passengers to court as my witness (to testify that they were not placed in danger)?