New Jersey officials are doing what they can to educate motorists on the dangers posed to drivers and their pets when an animal is improperly restrained in a vehicle.
The safety announcement was made by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Motor Vehicle Commission. Leonia, NJ’s Overpeck County Dog Run was the site chosen to make the safety message known. Officials said that pets can be a distraction that causes a driver to lose focus on the road, thus compromising themselves, their pets, and other motorists.
This summer, law enforcement officers are going to be paying particular attention to motorists that don’t restrain their animals. Drivers can be pulled over if an officer deems a method of transport to be unsafe. Vehicle operators could find themselves even falling afoul of animal cruelty laws in the state, and it’s possible that such people would have to pay a fine between $250 and $1,000.
Safety officials want drivers to use restraint systems just like they would if they had a child (although the devices would be slightly different of course). And although an untethered dog on a motorist’s lap is dangerous, it’s not the only animal that could compromise safety. Cats resting on a vehicle’s dash or birds perched on the shoulders of a vehicle operator could also affect a person’s ability to properly drive an automobile.