Calif. Bill Would Drive Pets Off Laps
Drivers would have to steer clear of distracting pals
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 6:11 AM CDT
A pet owner drives with her dog in the front seat. California is poised to ban pets from drivers' laps.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – California legislators are pushing a bill banning pets from drivers' laps after a national study ranked pets, along with cell phones, among the leading causes of road distractions and a cause of thousands of accidents. A bill before the state legislature will impose a fine for driving while holding dogs, cats, or other live animals, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

"You have a potential major risk of an auto accident when you have a live pet that can be around your face, in the steering wheel, down on the floor under your feet," said an assemblyman. "I saw an individual with two dogs with their paws up in the open window in the back seat, and another dog in their lap. My goodness, folks."