Most people realize that texting and driving is a safety hazard, but what about the distraction caused by driving with your four-legged pal in your lap? According to a 2010 survey from AAA, almost one in four drivers allowed their dog to ride in their lap. The distraction caused by driving with an unrestrained dog on your lap is dangerous for the driver, the pet, as well as other motorists on the road.
Rhode Island State Representative Peter Palumbo has introduced legislation that would stop drivers from allowing their pet to sit in their lap while driving. If passed, the law would allow police to issue an $85.00 ticket to drivers found in violation of the law, with an increasing penalty of $100 for a second offense and $125 for a third or any subsequent infraction. There is already a similar law in effect in Hawaii, and Tennessee is also considering similar legislation. The proposed RI legislation has been referred for review to the House Judiciary Committee.
Keeping your dog properly restrained in the car can eliminate distractions so that you and your furry companion can safely enjoy your travels together. You can use a pet carrier, dog car seat or pet barrier to keep your dog safely restrained.