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Should Fifi, Bruiser or Your Wife sit in your Lap while Driving???? Bill before the house...

NO TEXTING while driving. Does your cell phone have hands, legs and a tail and wiggle around? I don't think so, I think this is far more a distraction.

Last year I had a near accident with a woman with her border collie that was in her lap and hanging it's head out the window with its paws resting on the top of the door where the window is moved from, and this was all during driving.  She was going North on Reservoir away from Chapel View (2 lanes) and without a blinker or notice, she started to enter my lane (left lane) and I swerved with an 8 & 9 year old in the back BEEPING to let her know.  She immediately pulled back over and moved the dog down so she could see WHO was next to her.  We got to the light and I told the kids to pretend to "Awww and Oooowww" over the cute doggie so I could get a picture at the light.  The woman smiled seeing how happy they were and allowed the dog back up on her perch so they could see better.  SNAP, I got my picture (which is attached).

Posted to Facebook and got a string of comments.  I wanted to know....Is It Okay to drive with your 10lb little pooch, a Great Dane or your wife????  Really?  Why is it not okay to drive with a child in the front seat?  The Air bags could kill the child.  What about a dog?  Is the child better behaved/responsible than the dog?  Is the dog more impulsive vs. a child.

NO TEXTING while driving.  Does your cell phone have hands, legs and a tail and wiggle around?  I don't think so, I think this is far more a distraction.

WHY THEN??? Why O Why do people think this is a safe idea?  I feel like many think it's a status symbol.  Look at me with my big Lexis SUV and my beautiful Bijon puffball with the bling bling rhinestone necklace.  What are these people thinking.

Rep. Palumbo has submitted a Bill to stop this practice.

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David Davis April 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM
How about a helmet law and enforcement of this law http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statutes/title31/31-45/31-45-1.HTM
Mike Bottaro April 17, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Hi Suzanne... welcome to the blogosphere. Your topic highlights another form of distracted driving and is apropos as April is advertised by the DOT as "Distracted Driving Month." http://fastlane.dot.gov/2012/04/april-is-distracted-driving-awareness-month.html As I have written many times (and as witnessed in my law practice), any form of distracted driving increases the chance of an accident. Whether we need more laws or not is open to healthy debate.... but on the civil side, I can tell you that jurors are not sympathetic to drivers not paying attention and causing injuries. Nice post.
Suzanne Arena April 20, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Thanks Mike! I had initially found these enterprising lawyers (lol) http://www.sarasotamotorvehicleaccidentsblog.com/2011/09/when-driving-becomes-hazardous-due-to-pet-distractions.shtml . I am sure to add this to my FB page. Enjoying NYC with my 2 kids on vacation at my sisters on Staten Island. I will tell you...I always see interesting sites here, but no 1 doggie riding with the driver. Totally insane. From my years in legal, I was lucky to work in many different areas and it quickly became apparent that people sue for just about anything (fictitious ex:., 16 yr old blow-drying hair in bathtub with dryer. Ergo, a warning label is placed on all blow-dryers because of this (lacking any common sense) 16 yr. olds parents sue for her stupidity and win. It is a nuisance that this wasn't captured under an umbrella of Driving Distracted laws all at once. The obvious, stationary objects don't 'react" and need to be manipulated by the owner....living, breathing things do not fall under this category. Clearly a DA moment and I'm one of your jurors. It's a ridiculous thing to allow, which could alter your entire live and others in a split second. Stupid IS, what Stupid DOES, but WE are harmed when it’s not spelled out and hitting THEM in the wallet.
Mike Bottaro May 05, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Wall Street Journal Page 1?!? You just went national, girl: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304743704577384012338914078.html
Suzanne Arena May 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Pretty amazing! What surprises me most, is when people say its "common sense" and should stand on those merits vs. Legislation. As you know, Common sense is relative to everyone and many manufacturers have had to put 'common sense' warnings on products. Case and point, household blowdriers all have a Warning label stating "Do not use in the bathtub", shown with a simple picture for those challenged with words. I had to giggle after reading the article that Paris Hilton was omitted. I had said after her sensationalization of her Fufi dog going, driving everywhere with her it seems to me it became a status symbol and doggie showing off increased. The author did say he would need her publicists permission - oh well! Lol!

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