Drivers Are Going to The Dogs

I’m reminded of this from time to time, but finally decided to say something about it. How many people have you seen driving about the city with a pet, usually a dog, sitting/standing on the driver’s lap? Do these pet owners not have concern for the safety of their animals that they let them remain in a position where the poor animals can be compressed between the airbag and and the face of the driver should something happen?

Most people understand the benefit of using seatbelts. I would think that if the seatbelt laws were repealed (not a bad thing, in my opinion) most people would continue to wear them and benefit from them. Why do the aforementioned pet owners not consider that an unrestrained animal in the driver’s lap is not only a risk to the pet, but also to the driver?

Please do not tell me that drivers are unaffected by Bittums bouncing about, in and out of the driver’s side window and all over the lap and seat of the driver while the driver is trying to keep it between the lines. And yes, before someone turns his or her ankle-biter loose on me, I do realize that not all vehicle borne pets are so poorly controlled.

We’ve had a recent movement on the part of the South Dakota legislature to prevent people from using mobile devices for certain things while driving. This misguided attempt to protect us from ourselves met with the defeat which was warranted. Do you not think that a living animal in the lap of the driver has a much greater potential for distraction than an inanimate electronic device?

I am not calling for a law to prevent people from driving with pets on board–but I am asking that those who do so consider more than the enjoyment you (and your pets) may receive from so doing.

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