If you like driving with your pet on your lap, you are not alone. Many motorists do, yet many of them remain unaware of how dangerous and distracting the behavior can be.
Car accidents on the roads of Colorado happen all of the time, for many reasons. However, distractions are a primary contributing cause of many of them. The risk of injury is already high when people drive with distractions. But when those distractions include pets, the dangers increase significantly and can result in pain, injuries and heartache for all who are involved.
Oregon’s response to driving with pets
In a move to help curb the number of distracted drivers on the roads, Oregon lawmakers are experiencing pressure to consider passing a bill that penalizes drivers who allow their pets to ride shotgun in their vehicles. According to the bill, anyone who the police catch driving with an improperly restrained pet can receive a fine of up to $250. The infraction is a class D traffic violation.
Some states currently have laws in place to protect motorists and their pets. However, some motorists do not know of them, and others choose to ignore them. The introduction of this bill makes Oregon one of several states that have taken action to prevent people from driving with their pets in their laps, in front seats and without restraints.
The danger of driving with unrestrained pets
There are many reasons drivers use to justify allowing their pets to ride unrestrained. Those motorists show poor judgment and a disregard for safety because unrestrained passengers of any nature are at risk of serious injury and death in car accidents. Unrestrained passengers can also cause harm to others inside and outside the vehicle. When pets ride in laps and in the front and back seats of vehicles without proper restraints, motorists risk becoming distracted by their furry companions.
Pet owners who value the lives of themselves, their animal companions and other motorists should take the time to secure their pets properly in the appropriate areas of their vehicles. They should also avoid other common types of distractions, such as using their cellphones and electronic devices to send and receive texts, make calls and interact on social media while driving.