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PUBLIC OPINION > Pets Should Not Be Required to Wear Seat Belts

Living 2012/06/13 21:00:00
New Jersey recently passed a law making it illegal to have unrestrained animals in the car. That means if you want to take your pooch to your parents, you'll have to figure out a way to strap it in. Failure to do so is now classified as animal cruelty, and could run residents up to $1,000 in fines and six months in jail. But penalties aside, we asked the public if pets should be required to wear a seat belt in the first place.



There was a variety of reasons for and against the law, but ultimately most people agreed that they didn't want the state telling them how to handle it. Some people have ways of transporting their pets that don't involve restraints, and have been using them for years -- moving the seats, holding them in their lap, etc. Some are comfortable restraining their pets, but don't want to be caught off-guard on a short trip. It's not a major issue, but government involvement seems a little unnecessary here.

Libertarians Don't Like It

As expected, politics played a central role in this discussion. The primary issue is not so much the logic behind the law as it is the fact that it had to be turned into one. Especially with the major penalties New Jersey is placing on it. Progressives, on the other hand, see value in the heavy-handed approach, arguing that the law will make sure people don't put their pets at risk.

Girls Give Support

Women were about 11% more likely than men to agree with the law. It's not much to go by, but maybe it's their nurturing side that makes them a little more sensitive to the needs of animals. Or maybe it's that small percent of women who dress their dogs in sweaters who think it would be cute to see a puppy in a car seat.

Older Voters' Opinions Vary

From the youngest voters, all the way up through about 45 years old, support hovered around 38%. However, after that, percents fluctuated. It wasn't for lack of sample size, either, as volume was consistent throughout. Voters between 45 and 55 only showed 25% support, while voters between 55 and 65 showed 45%. It may have something to do with who's responsible for strapping the animals in.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about pets and seat belts. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Vitalani 2012/06/14 00:21:11
    Vitalani
    +16
    It's sad that people think this is just about animals jumping all over the car and causing accidents. most accidents are cause by PEOPLE not animals. The reason I think this should be a law is because it is in the best interest of the ANIMAL. You buckle up your kids? Buckle up your dog. If that idea confuses you then you don't deserve to have one. Simple.

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  • words to live by 2012/06/14 01:34:46
    words to live by
    No seat belts for dogs. I think all dogs want to stick their head out the window. My Yorkie in the picture loved to hang his head out the window and I let him. He was 14 when we put him to sleep 3 months ago. If he were still here, I'd pay the fine to let him stick his head out the window....
  • Inquisi... words t... 2012/06/14 01:59:54
    Inquisitve Kat
    +4
    That's nice... but completely unsafe. I'd hope you'd be fined repeatedly and lose your license, so I wouldn't have to worry about your dog being killed, if you get in an accident... or you causing an accident, by being distracted.
  • bricklyn words t... 2012/06/14 02:54:29 (edited)
    bricklyn
    +5
    When they are properly restrained they can still do that. YOur dog can also endure repetetive eye injuries by flying debris from the roadway. Good for money on vet bills.
  • Doreen bricklyn 2012/06/14 03:26:36
    Doreen
    +2
    More advice from the land of common sense and logic.
  • words t... bricklyn 2012/06/14 14:08:34
    words to live by
    I understand what you're trying to say. Do you have an animal?
  • bricklyn words t... 2012/06/16 05:38:37
    bricklyn
    +2
    Yup, 2 dogs and 3 cats. Would never consider living without any of them.
  • Doreen words t... 2012/06/14 03:24:12 (edited)
    Doreen
    +4
    So imagine this: you get a new Yorkie ( adorable little dogs ) and it is standing on your lap with its head out the window and suddenly you have to slam on the brakes because some idiot ran a red light and went out in front of you. The cute little Yorkie is either thrown onto the dash or thrown out and since there are other cars moving next to you on the green light if the dog went out the window it has a high possibility of getting run over by another car. Dead cute Yorkie whose death could have been prevented just by properly securing it. You also do not realize that all of that air rushing into the dogs eyes is not good and if a bug hits them in the eye you have a problem there also. Train your next dog to be restrained for its safety. They have booster seats for tiny dogs so they can be safely secure and still see out the window. There are also screens you can put in an open window so the can not stick their head out but enjoy the air. It is also less expensive to do all of that than pay a fine.
  • Tony 2012/06/14 01:13:42
    Tony
    +1
    Hell I don't think PEOPLE should be required to wear seatbelts. We need to thin out the herd.
  • Doreen Tony 2012/06/14 01:28:12
    Doreen
    +1
    Well maybe you should either never have children or when you do put your baby in the front seat without any protection at all and drive real fast and stomp on the breaks ( you know thinning out the herd ).
  • Tony Doreen 2012/06/14 01:32:01
    Tony
    +1
    I was wearing my seatbelt LONG before the made it a law. My parents made me wear the seatbelt before it was law. My children will wear seatbelts whether or not it is the law.
  • Doreen Tony 2012/06/14 02:01:53
    Doreen
    +1
    And it should be law for animals for the same reason as it will be for the children you have. I do not think that you would be happy if you happened to have your child safely buckled in and your dog roaming around in the car and you had to come to a sudden stop or got into an accident and the unsecured pet slammed into your child hurting them both seriously. If you are going to say you would never allow an animal in the car anyway that is not the point the point is thinking about what could happen and it is a very likely possibility with a loose animal.
  • Tony Doreen 2012/06/14 17:25:19
    Tony
    If people aren't smart enough to restrain their own animals in the vehicle and an injury results from it, that's their problem not mine. Now I gotta have the Nanny State sticking it's nose even deeper into my life because someone probably like you had to stick their nose where it didn't belong.
  • Doreen Tony 2012/06/14 19:10:02
    Doreen
    +1
    If you were the one who got your car slammed into and you or someone with you got hurt because some idiot had their pet running around you would not think that it is just their problem. It would not just be their problem if you had your pet running around and distracted you and hit someone unless you just do not give a damn that someone got hurt due to your negligence. You agreed to take care of you animals when you brought them into your life and protecting them is part of your agreement unless you are on of those people who just says "it is only a damn animal". If people would actually use their brains ( common sense and logic ) and do what is obvious some laws would not be passed but since common sense and logic seems to no longer exist that is what happens.
  • Tony Doreen 2012/06/14 22:13:34
    Tony
    If someone hit me because of their pet not being secured and it caused the crash it would be there problem as I would make it there problem.
    And I agree. If people did what was obvious and based on common sense then many laws would not be needed. And because these concepts are based in common sense these laws should not exist.
  • Doreen Tony 2012/06/14 22:32:45
    Doreen
    What if you were the one who hit someone because your pet was distracting you? Would you still be against securing your pet? I agree with you on your answer but I am curious about it being the other way around.
  • Tony Doreen 2012/06/15 18:10:54
    Tony
    Then it would suck to be me and I would deal with the consequences.
  • bricklyn Tony 2012/06/14 02:56:17
    bricklyn
    +1
    I started wearly my seat belt in 1973.
  • Tony bricklyn 2012/06/14 17:23:28
    Tony
    so did I. that's the year I was born! *LOL*
  • bricklyn Tony 2012/06/16 05:39:31
    bricklyn
    +1
    lol, I am old enough to be your mother.
  • betsy Doreen 2012/06/14 02:03:57
    betsy
    Wow! What? I have 3 children and believe the seatbelt law is totally ridiculous! For minors the law is fine, but I am an adult and if I choose to not wear a seatbelt that should be my choice. This is my life not yours or the governments. Why don't we take a second to think about children! Everyone believes dogs should be restrained but school buses full of children have no seatbelts? This all seems just a bit ass backwards.
  • Doreen betsy 2012/06/14 02:30:51
    Doreen
    +1
    If you want to bring school buses into it I will say that I think that school buses should have seat belts also and it is very stupid that they do not. Yes, if you do not wear a seat belt and are 18 and over then it is your choice. Pets have the mentality of small children ( if even that ) and as you do a child you need to protect them ( you made that silent agreement when you brought them into your life ). Would you feel bad if your pet got killed from slamming into the windshield if you had to come to a sudden stop and know it would never had happened if you had secured the pet? Is a pet a part of the family for you or just a damn animal?
  • Maci betsy 2012/06/14 04:02:44
  • Meep betsy 2012/06/14 07:21:25
    Meep
    +2
    School buses have much more protection than cars do, so kids have a very low chance of getting hurt. However, you do not have the luxury of that protection, and the government has a duty to protect you in the case of you not owning a practically armor-plated vehicle. As long as you remain ignorant of the danger you put your children in, then you are a danger to everyone else. But no matter what, the government has laws in place with the intention of keeping you alive, and they have worked. Seat belts are an entirely necessary precaution.

    It's funny, I just realized how much humanity has f***ed with evolution in order for this to happen. In a perfect world, the superior animal would win out and you would remain without having had children. Unfortunately, your hereditary stupidity is being passed on to your children, and then their children, forming a cycle of dumb.
  • bricklyn Tony 2012/06/14 02:55:35
    bricklyn
    +1
    Thats what guns are for.
  • Maci Tony 2012/06/14 04:01:49
  • Tony Maci 2012/06/14 17:28:50
    Tony
    How am I a danger to people on the road? If you choose not be safe and get hurt or killed in the process then it's entirely on YOU! Instead because of self righteous people like you I have to have Big Brother stick it's nose even deeper into my life. It's people like you that are a threat to ALL of our freedoms!
  • JennyDevio Tony 2012/06/14 20:57:37
    JennyDevio
    +1
    No it's people like you that aren't smart enough to do the responsible thing that gets big brother into our lives! No one ever CHOOSES to get into an accident. That's why they're called accidents!!! Be responsible and smart, buckle up and buckle your kids and pets up too!! If everyone did that and used common sense we'd be just fine.
  • Tony JennyDevio 2012/06/15 18:15:42
    Tony
    I use common sense and I do all those things. Your argument is invalid.
  • Doreen Tony 2012/06/14 21:58:36
    Doreen
    So if you decide to drive dangerously and you hit and kill someone then it is entirely that persons fault even though they were following the rules to the letter? If people actually used common sense and logic these laws would not have to be made. your comment sounds like the "it is always someone elses fault and never mine".
  • Tony Doreen 2012/06/15 18:14:57
    Tony
    depends. why did I hit them? Was I going along and they pulled out in front of me giving me no time to stop or go around? Did they cut me off in traffic? In those two cases it would be their fault even if me hitting them caused their death. I'd feel terrible about it, but I would not be at fault.
  • Maci Tony 2012/06/14 23:34:25 (edited)
  • Tony Maci 2012/06/15 18:13:09
    Tony
    I know driving is a privilege! It's the first line in the manual.
    DUI is different. The is an actual immediate threat to others. Seatbelt laws only exist as a way for governments to get money. Nothing more.
    BTW. I don't violate traffic laws.
  • Maci Tony 2012/06/15 18:20:47
  • Vitalani 2012/06/14 00:21:11
    Vitalani
    +16
    It's sad that people think this is just about animals jumping all over the car and causing accidents. most accidents are cause by PEOPLE not animals. The reason I think this should be a law is because it is in the best interest of the ANIMAL. You buckle up your kids? Buckle up your dog. If that idea confuses you then you don't deserve to have one. Simple.
  • bricklyn Vitalani 2012/06/14 02:57:57
    bricklyn
    +6
    It is not only in the best interest of the animals. It is in the best interest of everyone on the road. Unrestrained animal are dangerous in vehicles as they roam around and are distracting to the drivers. I know because I have one that will not stay put and continually want to sit on my lap.
  • Vitalani bricklyn 2012/06/14 03:09:14
    Vitalani
    +4
    Absolutely, they can cause crashes and then actually become projectiles. It's an unsettling thought but many people don't realize that being hit in the head with a pet can be just as dangerous as the crash itself.
  • bricklyn Vitalani 2012/06/14 05:54:40
    bricklyn
    +2
    Absolutely, any flying object is dangerous living or inanimate.
  • ~Kutie~ Vitalani 2012/06/15 05:14:07
    ~Kutie~
    +2
    Took the words right out of my mouth
  • Lucy 2012/06/14 00:20:12
    Lucy
    +4
    I first did not like it, but then when I read that some people hold them in their laps, I decided yes, they must at least be in the back seat.
  • Doreen 2012/06/14 00:10:03
    Doreen
    +5
    Safety, is it just for people? When we get into a vehicle first we buckle up our children then we buckle up ourselves. Why did we just let our pet jump in and remain unsecured? We do not tend to think about the fact that if a person can get injured or killed in a vehicle accident so can our beloved pets. not only can out pets get killed or injured but they can also kill the other occupants in the vehicle by flying into them with a pretty hard force ( it does not take only an accident but also a sudden stop ). A pet that is roughly 50lbs and going roughly 30mph will hit an object in front of it with approximately 2,500lbs of force. The ratios are different for lighter or heavier pets but that should give a more factual idea of what force results from our pets hitting an object in their path of flight. The mental trauma can also be equally bad for our pets as it is for us.

    Our pets could also be the cause of a vehicle accident wen unsecured. They can distract us from our driving by jumping in front of our view, jumping down where the gas and brake pedals are, trying to get out of a window, and getting into something that we do not want them in. We may feel that our pets would never behave like that ( either because they never have acted like that before or they are su...





    Safety, is it just for people? When we get into a vehicle first we buckle up our children then we buckle up ourselves. Why did we just let our pet jump in and remain unsecured? We do not tend to think about the fact that if a person can get injured or killed in a vehicle accident so can our beloved pets. not only can out pets get killed or injured but they can also kill the other occupants in the vehicle by flying into them with a pretty hard force ( it does not take only an accident but also a sudden stop ). A pet that is roughly 50lbs and going roughly 30mph will hit an object in front of it with approximately 2,500lbs of force. The ratios are different for lighter or heavier pets but that should give a more factual idea of what force results from our pets hitting an object in their path of flight. The mental trauma can also be equally bad for our pets as it is for us.

    Our pets could also be the cause of a vehicle accident wen unsecured. They can distract us from our driving by jumping in front of our view, jumping down where the gas and brake pedals are, trying to get out of a window, and getting into something that we do not want them in. We may feel that our pets would never behave like that ( either because they never have acted like that before or they are supposed to be really well trained ) the real question to ask ourselves is "can we promise ourselves beyond a shadow of a doubt that our pets will not act like an animal? We tend to humanize our pets but the fact is that they are animals.

    There are many ways to secure our pets in a vehicle. Crating is one of the best methods ( as long as it's secured correctly ) because it also helps protect our pets from loose flying objects. There are harnesses that work with the seat belts to secure them and keep them where they belong and keeps them from flying into an object in case of an accident or sudden stop. There are many types and styles of these harnesses at both pet stores and online. We can get barriers to keep our pets from having free roam in the vehicle which would be better than nothing but they do not stop the pet from flying into an object. Holding our pets in our arms is not effective at all. If a pet wants out ( of an open window ) they are going to go if they want out badly enough. If we get into an accident our mind and body is going to react to protect itself and not our pet. That means either our pet can slip through our arms and hit what is in front of them or we could actually crush them ourselves. Pets do tend to feel more at ease when they are secured properly.

    If we are in an accident our pets could get out and get hit by a car, bite someone, get injured, or run away and never be found. If our pet does not allow a paramedic to get to us a police officer may be forced to shoot our pet. It is better financially and emotionally to find a way to secure our pet than pay for a ticket, vet bill, or deal with our pets death.

    Please, we need to consider our pet(s) when we take them places in a vehicle. When we brought our pets into our lives we agree to love them, feed them, and care for them. protecting them from harm is supposed to be part of our agreement for caring for them.
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