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Lawmaker Says Dogs Cause Distracted Driving

SPRINGFIELD- Some people treat their animals like children, taking them wherever they go. And even letting them sit on their lap while they're driving. Well, one lawmaker wants to make that illegal.
Some people treat their animals like children, taking them wherever they go. And even letting them sit on their lap while they're driving. Well one lawmaker wants to make that illegal.

"I support it from personal experience, I know it can happen," says Richard Speck.

He takes his dog Izzy wherever he goes. He used to let her sit up front, but now she rides in the back.

"We were rear ended at a stop sign and it was fairly serious, my car was totaled and I was in the front seat, Izzy was in the front seat and she actually hit the dash and luckily she wasn't hurt," said Speck.

But not everyone can say the same and that's why one lawmaker wants to make it illegal for animals to sit on their owner's lap while driving. Senator Martin Sandoval believes it could help save lives.

Speck agrees, "It is a safety issue both for the animal and for the driver, if the driver is distracted its kind of like texting or talking on the phone, it just one more distraction."

"Its dangerous not only for the dog, but anybody else in the car to have an animal unrestrained," said Melissa Ramirez.

She also supports the idea, her dog Max was paralyzed after they were t-boned by another driver. She says the injuries took a toll on both emotionally and financially.

"Spent a bunch of money and time on something that could have been really easily avoided," said Ramirez.

But not everyone agrees another law is needed, some think the government is getting too involved.

"I think there needs to be some research maybe that proves that its a huge detriment to society before they start making laws," Levin Stringham said.

This law would only make it illegal for animals to be on their drivers lap. They would still be allowed to sit in the front seat or the backseat. 

 
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