Lawmakers in Rhode Island are currently considering legislation that would ban drivers from holding a dog on their laps while operating a moving motor vehicle, in an effort to reduce distracted driving. A bill has been submitted to the House Judiciary Committee proposes authorizing law enforcement officials to issue citations to motorists driving while holding dogs on their laps. The offense would be punishable by $85 fine for the first occurrence, a $100 fine for the second occurrence and a $125 fine for each additional occurrence.
According to a survey conducted by AAA based on answers from 1,000 dog owners who had driven with their dogs in the previous year, 21 percent of those surveyed admitted letting a dog sit in their laps while they drove and 31 percent admitted to being distracted from their driving responsibilities by having dog in the car, no matter where the dog rode. Lawmakers in Tennessee are also considering a similar prohibition on driving while holding a dog in your lap. The California legislature voted to pass a similar ban in 2008, but the governor would not sign the bill into law.
As a Ventura personal injury lawyer, I am well aware of the harm that can result when drivers even momentarily take their eyes and minds away from the road ahead of them. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident linked to distracted driving, please consider hiring a Ventura car accident attorney.