Proposed NC bill would make it illegal to drive with animal on lap

A House bill submitted by Rep. Garland Pierce would punish pet owners with a $100 penalty and court costs if they are caught driving with an animal on their laps.

Tony Wilson, a dog lover, said this is good news.

Anywhere Wilson goes, you'll find his dog Cooper right along with him. The two love taking rides around town together, but Wilson makes sure Cooper is always sitting in the passenger seat.

"If I'm in that truck, he expects to be in there with me. He's great he sits in the seat like a little person," Wilson said.

Wilson has seen drivers with dogs on their laps while on the roads, and he said that can increase the chances for a wreck.

"Not just the dog, the owner itself can be in danger, distracted and wont have control over the vehicle," Wilson said.

That's why a proposed bill submitted Wednesday could make driving with your pooch on your lap illegal. If the bill passes, North Carolina would become the third state to have laws against driving with an animal on your lap.

Longtime master trainer David Kabler said he likes the filed bill.

"I see people do it all the time. Dogs look like they are reasonably behaved sitting on their lap, but if you were to get into an accident, caused by another driver, now the airbag is going to go off and your dog is going to get crushed, if its a little dog. If it's a big dog, you both might get injured," Kabler said.

If you must travel with your pooch, he recommends using a walking leash and harness and putting the dog in the back seat of your vehicle..

"What I do is I put a harness on my dog, a walking harness, and I'll wrap that around the headrest a few times, with enough slack so he can move around comfortably," Kabler said.

He said dogs can be taught how to sit in the back seat of your car quietly.

For more information on dog training, click here.

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