Illegal to drive with a pet in your lap? Folks speak out after proposed bill


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — If you’re an animal lover, read this. There’s a new bill that could make it illegal to drive with your pet in your lap. One dog owner said he’s against it.

“No, we do not need any more laws, especially something as ridiculous as that,” David Williams said. 

A new bill proposed Wednesday in the North Carolina House could make it illegal to hold your pet while in the driver’s seat.

Related: Proposed NC bill would make it illegal to drive with pet in lap

“To me it’s ridiculous. No more laws. Not like that,” he said. 

The bill pushes for safer roads. It cites that holding an animal in your lap is a distraction. Representative Andy Dulin from Mecklenburg County sponsored the proposed legislation.

“Just another way to get money out of you,” Williams said. 

If the new bill actually does become law, then any person caught driving with an animal in their lap would be fined $100. One pet owner we spoke with said that actually makes sense.

“I can understand the proposition for it because anything to keep the road safer and to prevent drivers from being distracted is important,” Amanda White said. 

But, she said, it shouldn’t take the place of more important safety concerns.

“I’d rather police officers focus on people who are speeding and driving recklessly and not peaking over at peoples’ cars to say they have a dog in their lap,” she explained. 

The proposed law would not impact your license points or insurance.

If passed, it would go into effect on December 1st of this year.

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