Are Pets Required to be Restrained in Vehicles in Indiana and Kentucky?
Is there a doggy seatbelt law in Kentucky and Indiana? If a cop pulls you over will you get a ticket if they aren't restrained? Here's what you need to know about pet car restraint laws so you won't get a fine or points on your license.
Do I worry about my dogs when I drive? Yes, of course, I do. Should I practice safer habits and restrain them in the car? Without a doubt, I should. I'm fully aware there are carriers and travel harnesses that will help them be more secure and as a pet parent, I need to do better. How many times does your pup jump over the backseat to get on your lap while you drive? Be careful because a cop could be watching. It's happened to me once. It was dark, and my pup was on my lap as I drove down the highway. Lo and behold, a police officer saw me and I got pulled over. I got the dog off my lap, but it was too late. I was lucky he just gave me a warning. That was over 25 years ago and I haven't done it since!
So, is it illegal for your dog to ride on your lap? We found some answers to share with you.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO DRIVE WITH PETS ON YOUR LAP OR UNRESTRAINED?
Many states have strict laws when it comes to restraining your pet while driving. Could you get a ticket if your pet is loose inside a moving car is the question? Even the most behaved pet could be a distraction so yes, you could get pulled over and be fined. The answer will depend on your state's traffic laws according to news.orivis.com. If your pet isn't restrained while driving in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and New Jersey it's illegal. In Connecticut, Massachusett, or Maine, you could be charged with distracted driving. There are laws proposed to make it illegal in states like Florida, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Oregon.
Florida just proposed a new bill banning a dog from sitting on your lap or hanging out the window while driving this week. What are your thoughts?
In Kentucky, there isn't any law enacted which prohibits driving with an unrestrained dog in your vehicle.
In Indiana, there's some language in this state's laws that indicates you shouldn't drive with an unrestrained dog in your car, but it's not specific enough to determine if you can be penalized.
Because having a dog riding in your lap may be a distraction, law enforcement can still pull you over and ticket you for distracted driving and/or animal cruelty in any state. This is different than whether your dog is restrained or not.
IMPORTANT PET TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
Pets are already stressed when it comes to road trips. Many pups travel with no issues, but some may need medication for their anxiety. It's always fun to travel with your beloved pooch, but ASPCA offers some helpful tips before you hit the road.
1. Prepare your pet for a long trip. Get your pet geared up by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening the time spent in the car. If you’re traveling across state lines, bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record. While this generally isn't a problem, some states require this proof at certain interstate crossings.
2. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop. If you decide to forgo the crate, don't allow your pet to ride with his head outside the window, and always keep him in the back seat in a harness attached to a seat buckle.
3. Prep a pet-friendly travel kit. Bring food, a bowl, a leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and first-aid, and any travel documents. Pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours before departure, and always opt for bottled water. Drinking water from an area he or she isn’t used to could result in stomach discomfort.
4. Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked automobile can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
I can do better to protect my pup when we hit the road. How about you?