• Sep 27, 2012
Scott Lowe, Flickr
New Jersey lawmakers sure are spending considerable time thinking about drivers and driving.

Earlier this year, a state senator proposed a bill to fine slow drivers. Lawmakers also argued over whether to affix a red sticker on the license plates of younger drivers. Only last week, the state enacted a ban on smiling in driver's license photos.

Next up on their docket?

Assemblywoman Grace Spencer has proposed a law that would mandate that motorists either crate or buckle in their animals while driving. Violators would be subject to a $20 fine and possible animal cruelty charges. It's a matter of reducing distracting driving and pet safety, say advocates for the law.

"If that pet is roaming freely in the vehicle, that is a distraction for the driver, but it's also very unsafe for the pet itself," Motor Vehicle Department official Ray Martinez tells radio station New Jersey 101.5 FM.

The issue of how to properly transport animals surfaced earlier this year when officials from the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said drivers should face animal cruelty charges if they failed to restrain their dogs and cats. Currently, New Jersey law has no such penalty.

Their stance quickly brought a counter-response, including a proposal from another state lawmaker that allowed for unrestrained pets in cars without fears of animal cruelty charges.

How do New Jerseyans feel about the dual pieces of pending legislation?

A voter survey conducted by Farleigh Dickinson University found that 45 percent of registered voters support Spenser's law while 40 percent oppose it.

"These proposals have received both attention and ridicule," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Farleigh Dickinson. "But it seems like New Jersey voters are taking this seriously."
***

Regardless of the laws in your particular area, driving safely with your pets in the car should be a top priority both for your animals, yourself and other motorists. Here's a look at Pooch Protection 101: Tips On Keeping Your Pets Safe In The Car.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 487 Comments
      joel
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess a bullet is cheaper than a harness, you new jersey idiots will leave me with no choice but to shoot my dog rather than take em to the vet in my car. its a dog!!!!! i cant wait to read all the commets of the animal lovers talking trash....you guys are cute.
      beaubuick
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have to say some pet owners are a little rediculous. I have seen a few accidents that were caused by the dogs jumping around frt to back ,pass side to driver.. I feel for the owners that want to go out for a drive with their dog, but if it endangers others on the road, where the driver of the vehicle with the dog, may be distracted and loose some control, then yes maybe a seat belt or cage would be the answer.... Bad mouthing the govenor is also rediculous !! Somebody makes a valid suggestion to a politician and then it gets way up the ladder to the gov.. this is called our 1st amendment right.. This is a copy of a law already in place.. Logical !!!,,,,,"When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."
      sonnype
      • 2 Years Ago
      Government taking stupidity to a new level.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of you don't see the "Big" Picture....this is protecting you and or your CHILDREN life....
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can tell you i am for this law. I have personally witnessed the death of at lest four dogs that all were not properly restrained, either in the back of a pick-up truck or car. Three of these dogs died when they lunged for a passing car. One of which was decapitated by said passing car. Another lunged out of the back of the truck when a barking dog passed by, was hit by the car behind the truck. The third was thrown out of the back by it's speeding owner, while it was standing atop of a utility box, it's paws on the roof of the truck. As for the fourth dog, It was seated in it's owner's lap. Like dog number two, it heard another dog barking and lunged out into the middle of speeding traffic. To me, all people that do not properly secure their animals should be sited for animal cruelty. Because i don't want to have to be that traumatized driver that has the drive her car home with the blood and guts of another person's unsecured animal on the roof and windshield of my car.
      thunderdogui
      • 2 Years Ago
      THE REALITY IS IS TIME TO SEND THIS BUNCH OF A..... HOLES TO THE LANDFIELD WHIT ALL THE GABAGE THEY ARE THE WORSE POLITICIANS AND DINT UNDERSTAND HOW THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEYM DONT CALL FOR THE RESIGNATION THE EVERY ONE AND HAVE THE FAT GOVERNOR TO PUT TO A END OF THIS STUPIDITE HOPE THE NATION IS SEEN THE REALITY HAPPENING IN NEW JERSEY AND SOON WILL BE ALL OVER THE USA BECAUSE ALL THE POLITICIANS ARE THE SAME GOD SAVE AMERICA FROM THE STUPID POLITICIANS
      heldt666
      • 2 Years Ago
      As a Police Officer, I covered auto accidents involving unrestrained animals [dogs] in a car. While, in many cases, the dog did not cause the accident, an unrestrained 20 to 80 pound dog flying around inside the car, bouncing off windows and seats, can cause serious injury to the occupants especially children. Tie a leash around the headrest of the seat the dog is using, leave 2 feet to the hook, and hook it to the ring on the dogs collar. Protect yourself and your family, not to mention the dog.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think its a great idea. I am an animal lover and am all for takin your dog out for a ride in the car. But when you let your dog roam freely in the car it poses numerous safety issues, for the animal as well as the driver and other motorists on the road. Those that let thier dog ride with thier heads out the window should be locked up. Its very dangerous for the animal, although they may seem to love it. The high winds in thier faces and eyes is not good. Also they can get injured by tree limbs, passing pedestrians, motorists, etc... And for the drivers that let thier dogs sit on thier laps while driving should have thier DL taken away. But thats just my opinion. ;)
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pretty soon they'll be taxing us on the amount of tissue paper it takes to wipe our Rear
      starla
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have always belted in my dogs in the back seat. Most pet stores carry the right harness to do just that. When I have a small dog, I just put him in his portable car kennel.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I saw a lady today with a dog on her lap and the dog was texting. I mean the lady!!!, LOl Lol ahahahah , lao, lmaghjt, lmmao
      vet99mr6
      • 2 Years Ago
      SAVE the world--everyone and everything should wear SEAT BELTS--even to BED!!!!
    • Load More Comments