In the latest of questionable laws, pet owners in New Jersey are now required to restrain their pets when they ride in the vehicle. If a driver is caught with an unrestrained pet, they can now face fines of up to $1,000 per offense. While the purpose of the law may make sense, the actual legislation seems to be a reach.
According to CBS Philly, Ray Martinez said the law was designed to prevent distracted driving. In other words, it was written to prevent a law violation for something already on the books.
“People actually driving with a dog or a cat on their laps. It’s not cute,” he said. “It’s actually dangerous for the driver. It’s dangerous for other drivers and it’s dangerous for that pet.”
And in case you are wondering how to get Fido buckled up—harnesses are sold that fit directly into the seatbelt buckle. Cats, on the other hand, are now required to be in carriers.
Violating the new restrictions is said to be considered animal cruelty, according to Petside.com, as are allowing your pet to hang their head out the window, allowing them to ride in the back of a truck, or allowing them to ride on your lap.
Distracted driving can be blamed for thousands of accidents every year. But distracted driving is already against the law. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply tell officers that a pet riding on the lap of a driver could be considered distracted driving, allowing them to ticket under an existing law rather than adding a new one?
The sheer number of traffic and criminal laws is really overwhelming. And when you find yourself pulled over for a violation, it’s easy to feel frustrated and completely confused by the entire situation. Some of these violations are actually considered crimes for which you can be sentenced to jail time.
Knowing about the charges you face and how they can play out in a New Jersey court room can be difficult if you are not well versed in criminal law. This is where a criminal defense attorney comes in.
Whether you are charged with reckless driving, distracted driving, or driving with your puppy unrestrained, you face penalties that can have long lasting effects. Contact my offices today to discuss the case against you, possible outcomes, and what options are available to minimize the impact of the case on your life.