Can You Get Pulled Over For Driving With A Dog On Your Lap?
Have you ever wondered if it's illegal to let your dog ride on your lap while you're driving? I see it all of the time and never really give it much thought unless the dog is the size of a horse and is clearly impacting the person's ability to drive - that's annoying.
Sgt. Troy Christianson from the Minnesota State Patrol said there isn't any specific law prohibiting driving with your pet, but you could still get pulled over and might even get a ticket.
Christianson said, "As for a dog on a lap, or head hanging out an open window, there would be no violation of the law and no citation issued for just that in itself." The Trooper did say if the dog is interfering with the person's driving a citation can be issued, "In my opinion, distracted driving applies to unsecured pets. Having a pet sit on a driver’s lap or loose in a vehicle could result in distraction, as well as visual obstruction."
Christianson urged people to secure pets for their safety and the safety of all of the passengers in the vehicle, "That pet could become a projectile in a crash. I have seen unsecured pets thrown into vehicle occupants during a crash causing unnecessary injuries to people and pets. For instance, if you are involved in a crash with a pet in your lap and the airbags deploy, it could result in the pet being thrown into you, causing serious injury or death to you and your pet.
The DMV says there's another reason to avoid doing it. They warn that the heavy airflow, especially if it is chilly, could damage the animal's respiratory system.