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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Having a ruff ride? Dogs could be forced to wear seatbelts if bill makes drivers restrain pets


Not allowed: The owner of Marmaduke, pictured in the 2010 film, would probably be violating the proposed bill forcing pets to travel restrained in Tennessee

It could be time for Max, Buster and Molly to get belted up.

Tennessee Representative Jim Cobb is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal for dogs and other animals to ride unrestrained inside a moving vehicle.

The Republican lawmaker's proposals are over concerns it can be distracting and potentially dangerous for drivers to have a pet roaming around a car.

Animals would have to be ‘secured in a harness or vehicle seat, confined in a box, or hard or soft sided travel crate, or held by a person' in a front or back passenger seat.

This would therefore include the use of seatbelts to stop pets moving around.

Proposals: Tennessee Rep Jim Cobb is sponsoring a bill to make it illegal for pets to ride unrestrained inside cars

Breaking the law would be a ‘Class C Misdemeanour' offence, which could result in up to 30 days in jail, a $50 fine or both.

Mr Cobb wants to ban drivers from having dogs sit on their lap while the car is moving.

‘He basically said you're meant to not have an animal in the driver’s lap,' a spokesman for Mr Cobb told MailOnline.

‘It’s meant to make sure they don’t have it in the lap as it can impair your driving ability.’

The bill, which has already been going through the state’s system for about a month, was passed through the Tennessee transport sub-committee on Tuesday.
It will now go to the full transport committee next week and then onto finance.

Good idea: Jessie Medina, of the PETCO store, praised the proposals as he said animals can often get anxious in cars and any harnesses will 'save a dog's life'

Jessie Medina, general manager of the PETCO store in Bellevue, told ABC2: 'I understand where they're coming from because they want their animal to feel secure.

'Dogs can get anxious and want to come up front and look out of the window. Pet parents underestimate the fact that these harnesses are going to save their dog's life.

‘It's no different than their child or an adult who gets into an accident. They really need to have that dog in the seat strapped down. It's an accident waiting to happen.'

source: dailymail


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