Proposal to Ban Driving With Dog in Lap in Michigan

Lawmaker concerned canine can be a distraction for motorists.

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PR NEWSWIRE—PR NEWSWIRE

If your dog crawls into your lap while you're diving in Michigan, you may in the future have to pull over.

That's because a bill introduced in the state legislature this week would prohibit drivers in the state from driving with a dog on their lap.

Introduced by Detroit Democrat LaTanya Garrett, the measure states "an individual shall not operate a motor vehicle while a dog is sitting in his or her lap," unless the canine is there for a medical reason under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Someone violating the rule would face a $100 fine for a first offense or $200 for a two-time offender.

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Lest one thinks Garrett has something against dogs, she told MLive.com that she has two dogs as pets herself. But the lawmaker said she has seen others behind the wheel with a dog in their lap and other distractions.

"It's just too much going on when a driver really needs to be focused on the road. Two seconds of being distracted can cost lives, it can be very fatal," the website quoted Garrett as saying. 

The legality of driving with a dog on one's lap is not clear under current law, which prohibits the carrying of a live animal "in or upon a vehicle without providing a secure space, rack, car, crate, or cage, in which livestock may stand, and in which all other animals may stand, turn around, and lie down during transportation."