New Jersey drivers can now face fines up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail for carrying an unrestrained pet in their vehicle.
Fines range from $250 to $1,000 per pet that is riding unrestrained in a car in New Jersey.
The state is cracking down for safety reasons, citing pets as possible projectiles in an automobile accident. The fine could end up costing people more money than if they themselves had not worn a seat belt, according to an article on Comcast.net
Citing the American Automobile Association (AAA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that 2 out of 3 owners engage in distracting behaviors when their pet is in the car, such as playing with, petting, or feeding their dog. Citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the AVMA says aproximately 20 percent of crashes involve distracted driving.
In another AAA survey, 20 percent of respondents said they allowed their pet to sit in their lap while driving. Thirty-one percent said they were distracted by their dog while driving.
The AVMA recommends that owners only take their pets in the vehicle with them when they absolutely need to, and to properly restrain them when in the vehicle.
Read more on New Jerseys "Click it or Ticket" for pets from Comcast.net.