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State bill would prohibit dogs from sitting in laps of drivers

Flickr User Joe Hay

A bill in Lansing would prohibit dogs from sitting in their owner’s lap if the owner is driving a car.


The bill would ban people from operating a vehicle with a dog in their lap unless the dog was there for medical purposes. A violation carries a $100 fine

People who research such things said a dog in a driver's lap can be just as, if not more distracting then applying makeup or using a mobile device while behind the wheel, especially when sirens and horns are thrown in the mix.

Dr. Richard Backs is a professor of psychology at CMU and the director of the CMU center for driving evaluation education and research.

“It is certainly worthwhile as an effort to promote public awareness of distractions and get us out of the mindset of only being concerned about distractions that involve mobile smart devices.”

Backs said there will always be a long list of driving distractions until there are fully autonomous vehicles. He said public awareness is likely the best means of promoting safety.