A Horse With No Name

Pets Now wear Seatbelts in New Jersey...

21 posts in this topic

Seat-belt your dog or face $1000 fine

We know...it sounds absurd.

"Click-it-or-ticket" warns us that we can, and will, get caught if we drive without a seatbelt. Most if not all states have now made it a primary offense under pressure from the Federal Government.

But one state wants to extend the "click" to man's best friend riding in the passenger seat and sticking his head out the window.

Under New Jersey Statute 4:22-18, unrestrained pets in vehicles is an act of animal cruelty, and drivers who don’t secure their pooch in a pet seat belt will be subject to fines, ranging from $250 to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail.

"That’s for each offense,” Col. Frank Rizzo, police superintendent for the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty, said Wednesday, according to The Bergen Record,“So, if you have more than one animal loose in your car, just do the math…”

“Some people tell us they like to let their pets hang their heads out the window to take in the fresh air,” Rizzo said, “but dogs and cats become projectiles in a crash.”

Oddly...allowing adults to ride unrestrained in the back had not been considered worthy of penalty until the Legislature closed this loophole in December 2009, although back-seat restraints have long been required for children.

“It’s crazy,” said Les Goldstein, a former Clifton, N.J. cop who is coordinating a Memorial Day crackdown in North Jersey which continues through Sunday. “It should be common sense.”

“It’s much cheaper to invest about $25 in a restraint system than to deal with the consequences of a crash,” Administrator Ray Martinez told the Record as he helped hook Finley, his frisky golden retriever-poodle mix, into a harness.

Driver inattention is the leading cause of road deaths in New Jersey and nationally, according to 2010 National Highway Transportation Administration figures — 5,400 nationwide and 130 statewide.

NHTSA doesn’t tally animal deaths, but Rizzo noted that traditional safety devices can be lethal for unrestrained pets.

http://www.northwestohio.com/news/story.aspx?id=761788#.T85lV7AeOE1

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dfelt    1,861

WOW, what a waste of tax dollars. Time to kick these idiots out of office.

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z28luvr01    170

I always secure my dog via seat belt harness for all but quick (<5min) trips.He's 16lb and won't survive being thrown headfirst into my dashboard in a collision. I agree with it being common sense. if you get the right harness, the dog will still have some mobility even though he is restrained.

The penalties are over the top though. At worst, the offense should be treated as if a human passenger was in the car unrestrained.

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balthazar    2,001

I can at least see the argument for belting people with the overblown 'we all pay for everyone else's insurance'...

but has an animal ever been documented to have become a 'projectile' and injured/killed a person in a motor vehicle accident??

This is so idiotic. You cannot even turn around twice on the same spot without wondering if it's a ticketable offense.

I hate the 21st century.

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Camino LS6    866

Arkus rides with me every day, restraining him would be a complete disaster - he'd be 100lbs. of fight.

My dog, my car, my choice - period.

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The dogs are only ever in the car when going to the vet, groomers, or pet wash...I've seen the ads for the special car seats for dogs, thought about getting some for my 5-, 10- and 20- pound furkids.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Turbojett    103

restraining a dog is a good idea. I always belted mine in, with the regular belts, and she was still able to stick her head out of the window.

But (felony) animal cruelty? six months in jail? $1000 per animal? Really, New Jersey?

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SAmadei    224

What if the dog is in a carrier? My dog rides in a carrier for a reason, he's a PITA while riding in a car. And most of these "pet seat belts" are nothing but a body harness attached to an anchor. Does that mean I can just anchor him down to an eyelet in the cargo area?

This law is stupid and somebody needs immediate removal from office.

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SAmadei    224

As it turns out, the law in question, 4:22-18, as not been changed since 2001, and the Col. Frank Rizzo seems to be misguided. He may be the police superintendent for the NJ SPCA... whatever that is... but in the end, the law, as written, does not mention anything about belts, and is overly vague. Reading about this elsewhere, the feeling is that this would not stand up in court.

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thedriver    39

You know, this works for me. I see so many people driving with dogs on their laps, I WANT these people to have an accident and become one with their dog and airbag. If not in belts at least in the back seat. I have no problems with the fines, this is one of the big problems in our society, people will just write a check and continue to break the law. Can't pay it? Don't do it.

  • Upvote 2

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dfelt    1,861

You know, this works for me. I see so many people driving with dogs on their laps, I WANT these people to have an accident and become one with their dog and airbag. If not in belts at least in the back seat. I have no problems with the fines, this is one of the big problems in our society, people will just write a check and continue to break the law. Can't pay it? Don't do it.

But if you take the dog out of their lap, they loose their added curshin for collision! ;) You would not want them to get hurt when a dog is much easier to replace. ;)

Edited by dfelt

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Heard this on KYW the other day - Jersey is so useless.

...in so many ways....

Often times I feel my state is pretty retarded, then I remember New Jersey exists!

Visit Ohio...it's like shopping at Wal-Mart...guaranteed to make you feel thin, sexy, and smart!

You can't fix stupid and common sense ain't common.

Amen brother!

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Turbojett    103

hows this for a stupid law? brother that lives in Oklahoma links me to a story about a group of mothers who want to get "Duck Duck Goose" banned from playgrounds because some idiots tried to do it in a moshpit at a rock concert and got trampled.

---and the politicians are like, "A chance to screw over constituents before they're even old enough to vote?! heck yes!"

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Often times I feel my state is pretty retarded, then I remember Arizona exists!

Corrected... :)

Which state isn't idiotic...Maine perhaps?

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SAmadei    224

Leave your animal at home .

You must have a vet that does house calls? My pets only travel to the vet... and maybe to a park one or twice a year. I have a giant dog carrier and a cat carrier. Neither is a seatbelt and would come under this vague, misguided reading of the 4:22-18 law.

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