• Sep 27th 2012 at 10:22AM
  • 487
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.
Should dogs be required to wear seat belts?
Yes 3978 (31.1%)
No 8796 (68.9%)


"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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 487 Comments
      Hello New Day!
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should FIRST concentrate more on making sure CHILDREN are buckled up..and properly! I have seen children in back seats AND front seats unbuckled, moving around, while someone is driving, risking the children's safety! Fine them for child endangerment or child cruelty BEFORE they fine for animal cruelty! Unbelievable! People come first! While they are at it, they should fine people for driving while smoking, while innocent children in the vehicle are forced to breathe it in! What about their rights to health? How cruel and inconsiderate! They don't allow smoke in restaurants, then they shouldn't allow it while children are in a vehicle.
      dd1820
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is the way it SHOULD be, they can be a distraction to the vehicle operator and in the event of an accidsent the become PROJECTILES in the vehicle(s) People have NO damned commons sense. Some lady yesterday had her freaking DOG SLEEPING on her shoulder and it actually obstructed her view....do you think that would come into play if she never saw the vehcile coming"? OH BROTHER!
      • 2 Years Ago
      the politicos in NJ want you to spend so much time talking about dogs with seat belts and registering bicycles that people dont realize that the mayor of their capitol city . and the mayor of the neighbor hamilton were arrested by the FBI . for corruption. maybe they should be worring about that and the other more important issues . than if my dog has a seatbelt on.
      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.
      Salena
      • 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.
      Adam
      • 2 Years Ago
      Reply to danimperial101- im pretty sure you know what i meant, and i am all for letting it be prochoice however why do i have to wear a seatbelt shouldnt that be prochoice as well? why do i get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt and a motorcycle rider not wearing their safety device doesnt?
      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
      • 2 Years Ago
      GOOD! This old man the other day was going 25 in a 45 with a yappy dog bounching all around his truck!! He could have caused an accident! To me a dig.pet on your lap is just as distracting as a cell phone!
      Norma
      • 2 Years Ago
      I take my small dog with me almost every where I go and I do leash him in the seat belt on a short one at that so that he can not roam around he has to stay put so that he don't distract me and to keep him safe incase of a sudden stop or accident when he could get out and get hit by another car ect. I learned that when I took him with me to go pick up meds at doctor's off. he was out of that car before I could get one foot on the ground and took of with me right behind him low and behold I fell and broke my leg with a fall. To make the story short a couple nurses were out walking lunch hr. caught him for me. All ended well except for surgery on my broken leg.
      CHARLES
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just have them stop holding dear little poochie in their arms while they're driving! put it in a crate or somewhere out of the way before it causes you to hit me or someone else AGAIN!
      mhwyman7
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sure Gov. Lard Butt will sign it in to law, then in his next breath call everyone in California a loon
      linwell
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is one the most ridiculous laws I have heard of, it should be a option of the pet owner it restrain their animals, not up to a government to demand it. Tha laws on the books for driving are not even enforced now with humans breaking the driving laws every second. Like people just hanging out in the passing lane ( pull over to the right lane and let people pass ) use your freakin signal when turning, stop at stop signs and red lights, stop talking on the phone and texting ( you don't even know how bad your driving ) it's like being behind a drunk or high driver. Be freakin aware of other people on the road... PAT ATTENTION...
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