New Jersey Requires Seat Belts for Dogs

New Jersey has become the first state to require that all dogs and cats be buckled in. Fines from $250 to $1000 can be levied. Dogs may be seat belted with a special dog harness available through various pet stores or may be in a carrier. Cats will probably have to be in a carrier as they are not so keen on harnesses. However, either approach will do. Ray Martinez of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission says that the purpose of this law is to prevent distraction of the driver. It is aimed first and foremost at the people who drive with dogs in their laps. However, it goes beyond that to all animals in the car. If the car is involved in an accident, or even if the driver breaks quickly, dogs can be thrown as projectiles into seats or the windshield to obvious harm. Or they can hit people as well. We at have encouraged people to seatbelt their dogs in for a long time; we’re not so sure that this should be a law, but it’s a good idea anyway for the safety of the dog and people in the car.

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3 Responses to “New Jersey Requires Seat Belts for Dogs”

  1. stephen says:

    Fines from $250 to $1000 come on now a person without a seat belt is $40.00 lets get real here

  2. N. Jane Miller says:

    The problem with this law is that all dog restraints do not fit all dogs or all cars. I’ve purchased restraints in the past and none of them work with our dog or our car. Friends have stated that they have had similar problems. We tried adapting the restraints, but they scare me, because they could cause our dog serious injuries should I have to brake suddenly.

    I am up for suggestions!

  3. N. Jane Miller says:

    Just discovered that your information is incorrect. The bill was introduced on 7/30. It is not a law yet, today, August 7, 2012. If enacted the fine would be $20. There is a possible $250 to $1000 animal cruelty penalty that they are trying to enact, but I doubt it will pass.

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