Lap dogs for Illinois drivers could lead to $50 fine with new legislation

(The Center Square) – Legislation advancing at the Illinois statehouse would get motorists in hot water for letting their pet ride on the driver’s lap.

House Bill 2910 provides that a person who holds an animal in the person’s lap while operating a motor vehicle is guilty of a petty offense. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jawaharial Williams, D-Chicago, said pets aren’t covered under distracted driving laws.

“The new law would allow police officers to pull you over if they see that you are driving with an animal in your lap, whatever the animal may be,” Williams said.

Williams cited a AAA survey that showed that 31% of drivers with pets said they have been distracted by their pets while driving, and 20% of drivers who have admitted to driving with the pet on their lap have been involved in accidents.

Offenders would be subject to a $50 fine. The measure moved out of the transportation committee and is headed to the House floor.

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