Should Pets Be Required to Wear a Seat Belt?

Living 2012/06/11 19:39:13
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Hmm ... we've never really thought about this one before. Should owners have to buckle up their pets in the car, or face a hefty fine? In New Jersey, penalties for driving with an unrestrained pet range from $250 to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail, NorthJersey.com reports.

"That’s for each offense," Col. Frank Rizzo, police superintendent for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told reporters. "So, if you have more than one animal loose in your car, just do the math…"

The New Jersey statute defines unrestrained pets in cars as animal cruelty. Some pet owners use small cages, but most buy seats and harnesses that attach directly to existing seat belts, NorthJersey.com reports. However, a 2010 survey conducted by the American Automobile Association showed that 20 percent of those polled allow their dogs to sit on their laps while they drive. And nearly one-third of the respondents admitted that unrestrained pets are distracting.

“Some people tell us they like to let their pets hang their heads out the window to take in the fresh air," Rizzo said, "but dogs and cats become projectiles in a crash." Do you think people should be forced to buckle up their pets?
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  • glass_butterfly ~YSU~ 2012/06/11 21:28:33 (edited)
    glass_butterfly ~YSU~
    I tie my dog up in the passenger seat or the back seat cause she'll try and jump in my lap (this is no purse dog, this is a 65-70lbs adult black lab, who still thinks she's a puppy) She could obstruct my view! Very dangerous. And for the safety of the dog too, if in a car accident I'd hate to think of my poor girl to fly out the window and getting hurt worst! Pet lover

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  • DogPerson 2013/09/09 20:48:54
    A lot of people are voting that dogs should be seat belted because their dogs jump in their laps.
    If your dogs have a problem with riding in vehicles than you should put them in a crate for the ride.
    However, obedience trained dogs will sit in the passenger seat and stay there for the entire ride. If your dog is not a problem why should you have to purchase a crate or special dog car seat? That's ridiculous and a waste of cash.
    Dogs aren't made to be tied up like that, and some would be upset by it.
    If the dog is sitting up unrestrained they can shift their weight and balance throughout the ride. With a sense of control they don't panic or become afraid of car rides.
    But if they get fastened to a car seat and the car is turning and going over bumps and they are getting jousted around unable to move than the car ride will become traumatic and that dog may no longer cooperate.
    Some dogs can do seatbelts, some dogs can do crates, and some are just fine riding along.
    If your dog blocks your vision or distracts you when you are driving then use common sense. But just because some people have untrained dogs and don't use common sense when driving does not mean that people with well trained dogs that are not a distraction should be fined heavily for doing nothing wrong or dangerous at all.
  • LunarRain 2012/06/30 08:46:37
    It might make it hard for them to stick their head out the window! I can't imagine a world with that not being allowed!
  • P. Sturm 2012/06/28 07:50:14
    P. Sturm
    Mine always did, a couple of carabiners from his harness around the shoulder strap and lap belt. He didn't mind, and when an idiot hit me he wasn't thrown through the windshield.
  • russell 2012/06/27 07:23:14
    i vote for "NO" and I want see all dogs feel more comfortable themselves or seat back!!!!
  • Lydia 2012/06/27 06:13:55 (edited)
    That silly seatbelt better more safe crate or back seat...
  • Lydia Lydia 2012/06/27 06:26:11
    Dogs will uncomfort or unhappy on seatbelt becaise they love to Window
  • rex 2012/06/21 10:58:48
    for me...its my first time to hear this kind of news that pets are required to wear a seat belt..my answer is no..the one who really wear a seat belt is only the people not for the pets..
  • Dave 007 2012/06/17 13:35:40
    Dave 007
    Good luck getting most dogs to be fasten down.
  • wassup 2012/06/15 04:36:16
    I think it's a good idea. Many times my dog has tried to get attention while I'm driving and steps into my seat to do that. It's dangerous for everybody.
  • Call me Mark willya? 2012/06/14 20:25:57
    Call me Mark willya?
    They should be contained in a pet carrier so as not to distract the driver.
    I don't believe that I should be required to wear a seatbelt if I'm over 18 and choose not to do so, but if I forget I can surely be fined for not doing so. I'm allowed to bungee jump off a bridge, skydive free climb or whatever other insane extreme sport I choose (including getting in an octagonal cage and having the stuffing knocked out of me) but I'm not allowed to drive my own car without a seatbelt. I would always wear one anyway, but I think It's stupid that there's a law that says I have to if I'm over 18.
  • Joe.Eng... Call me... 2012/06/14 22:22:45
    No seat belt laws for people 18+? You're just trying to kill off stupid people, aren't you? And using a pet carrier/crate is also acceptable under NJ law.
  • Call me... Joe.Eng... 2012/06/16 05:56:09
    Call me Mark willya?
    A: yes
    B: Seems Jersey's government is smarter than they've been reported to be... LOL
  • moiraregis 2012/06/14 20:17:00
    if it can save their lives in an accident, why the hell not? High time!
  • skyebrand 2012/06/14 10:45:03
    I guess if you don't love your pet & don't mind if it does in the event of an MVA then sure, leave it unrestrained...
  • Lola 2012/06/14 04:08:04
    No because dogs can can be dangerous so if u was my dog I would push u off me don't lick me or nothing
  • Paranormal♥Spirit 2012/06/13 22:21:57
    Pets won't hold still. They climb in your lap and block your view. My niece's dog does that a lot.
  • Nona 2012/06/13 22:03:50
    Being unrestrained in a vehicle is just as dangerous for a pet as it is for a human. They can also be thrown from a car in an accident. They can also CAUSE accidents, being a distraction to the driver, or even suddenly leaping into the drivers lap, or into the floor of the car blocking the gas/break pedals.
  • Beck∞♥☮♫♫♫∞ 2012/06/13 21:19:32
  • syl 2012/06/13 20:55:42
    My dog would suffer hysteria & severe stress if I tried to harness him in a seat belt!!!

    My cats HATE to go in a car, so if I have to take one to the vet I put him in a cat carrier.

    To put such severe fines & punishment for not having them in seatbelts is nuts! It's yet another way to fine the crap out of people, to put money in the city's coffers.

    As if the city cares about the pets! Give me a break!
  • wassup syl 2012/06/15 04:39:20
    Some dogs are too big to put in a dog carrier
  • syl wassup 2012/06/19 18:45:38
    People have the choice of not putting them in the car.
  • wassup syl 2012/06/28 17:42:34
    Sometimes you have to. What if you're taking them to the vet? Or your going on vacation and need to take them somewhere?
  • syl wassup 2012/07/03 20:40:28
    Like the guy below says-we don't need another law-we need common sense. We don't need big brother micro-managing us, & fining us-seriously what's next? Fine men if they don't put the lid up?
    fine us if we don't have a cat box?
    fine us if we let our gas go below a quarter tax?

    Seriously-it's really stupid.
  • jimmie 2012/06/13 20:51:28
    We don't need another law. Just common sence.
  • Vic F 2012/06/13 20:10:00
    Vic F
    but the harness would have to be designed properly for comfort and funtionality
  • Adam 2012/06/13 18:37:35
    Don't be ridiculous. This is the problem when you start valuing animals with the same value of a human being.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/13 21:14:17
    Inquisitve Kat
    Well, considering we're just animals, too, that doesn't seem like too bad an idea... but, let's pretend pets aren't just part of the family for many people and let's pretend they shouldn't be valued like a family member... an unrestrained animal, during an accident, becomes a projectile (very capable of hurting something more valuable, like a human).
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/15 01:29:33
    Why don't you name one incident where an animal killed someone in such a fashion.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/15 07:08:37
    Inquisitve Kat
    About three months ago, in Ontario, Canada, there was a car crash that killed an unrestrained dog. It was in our news.
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/16 00:26:12
    That did not answer my question. I said the unrestrained dog killed someone not the unrestrained dog died.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/16 02:48:34
    Inquisitve Kat
    "In January 2002 in New Brunswick, NJ a jury awarded $1.2 million to the family of a man killed in a car crash caused by a loose dog. The dog was killed too. In September 2005 a crash occurred in Great Britain. No humans were injured, but two dogs escaped from one of the cars and could not be found. Famous author Stephen King was seriously injured when hit by a car whose driver was distracted by an unrestrained dog." - http://merliannews.com/Animal...

    Just a quick Google search found those incidents. I'm sorry, I misread your question when I originally answered.
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/17 02:20:49
    We are talking about projectile dogs not untamed dogs here. Anyone stupid enough to drive with an untamed dog deserves to lose 1.2 million dollars.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/17 05:52:47 (edited)
    Inquisitve Kat
    In an accident, even a sleeping dog becomes a projectile, and even a tame dog becomes freaked out... come on, at least think about what you're saying.
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/18 18:51:58
    You have still not shown a single case where someone died from a projectile dog. Why should we worry so much about something, that even if it occurs, occurs so little. If we did we'd outlaw driving and airplanes. In fact we'd design robots to control our whole lives while we sit in the safety of an underground shelter.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/18 20:22:40
    Inquisitve Kat
    I just showed you a case, and you chose to ignore it... the dog was tame, just unrestrained... became a projectile... what are you not getting?
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/19 15:19:48
    I read the article you linked. It didn't say anything about a pet being the projectile killing someone.
  • skyebrand Adam 2012/06/14 10:46:05
    A dog, even a small dog, can become a deadly missile in a car accident & can kill human passengers...
  • Adam skyebrand 2012/06/15 01:29:40
    Why don't you name one incident where an animal killed someone in such a fashion.
  • Inquisi... Adam 2012/06/15 07:11:19
  • Adam Inquisi... 2012/06/16 00:29:52
    again the incident does not have any conclusions where the dog killed a person.
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