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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nichole Van Der Steemp April 07, 2012 at 01:13 PM
First of all, that's not a Border Collie, doesn't even look like one. I've seen people drive like a-holes without a dog in front with them so I don't really think this has something to do with how people just don't know how to driver a car and I don't think this is a status thing, what should you do, put your dog in the trunk? Yes, some owners need to be more responsible and try to keep their dogies in the back seat but sometimes they don't like to ride in the car and the only way to take them to the vet or the groomer is if they sit next to his human. I seriously feel that one example should not make you write this article, it feels as if you just hate animals and needed a place to vent your anger, chill out and use the auto correct option while writing and there are far more problems than someone driving a car with a dog. And just for the record, I don't own a dog.
10speed April 07, 2012 at 01:18 PM
hope it passes. These people are a menace to other drivers & cyclists KB
10speed April 07, 2012 at 01:25 PM
What would these people do if they had to perform an emergency move to avoid a collision, an animal, a cyclist or a child running into the street. The dog or pet would either tumble out the window or get further entangled into the steering wheel or even fall to the floor of the vehicle further inhibiting your ability to hid the brakes. These people have no regard for their own pets. These people would be devestated if they lost their pooch through ignorance. KB
Cathryn Jones-Nota April 07, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I thought it was illegal in RI to drive with a loose animal in you car for their safety, in case there was an accident. Also, this is a blog of her observation. The Patch asked for bloggers. If you don't agree submit a blog.
Suzanne Arena April 07, 2012 at 03:54 PM
@ Nicole, This is actually coming from love of animals and humans. There is no safety sitting in the front seat for a small child is the air bag deploys, and the same would be said for a small dog. The Bill is about securing your dog in the back seat. To say 'putting in the trunk' is a clear misunderstanding of what had been laid out for the protection to all....or just mean spirited. Driving with your dog in your front seat is not illegal, but this Bill would endorse behavior as being unsafe and unlawful. Logic is what drove this legislation. Other postings clearly state its unsafe to pedestrians, cyclists, mororists and anything that travels in a blind spot due to wreckless driving. Nothing more. It is not against
Melissa Cote April 07, 2012 at 04:04 PM
If owners should "try" to leave their dogs in the back seat, should parents "try" to keep their toddlers in the back seat? No they should be in a car seat and a dog should be in the back seat, restrained if need be.
Suzanne Arena April 07, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Perfect Melissa. As I originally came from Massachusetts, recollect years ago a law that was passed mandating owners securely leash their pets in the back for the safety of people around the car. It could be argued (as can anything), that the dog could be killed if the truck rolled over or had some type of accident. The majority of voters saw the logic, contain your dog and prevent it from jumping out and attacking people and/or jumping out into traffic and causing an accident. Also, ponder that the pet owner is fixated with what their dog is doing and their attention is further taken away from the task of 'paying attention to driving'. It must be clear for those people that can't seem to grasp the concept.
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) April 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Great suggestion. Anyone can blog and the topics can be about most anything.
Bob April 09, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Not sure if anybody just heard stooge Rep Palumbo on WPRO Buddy Cianci show....what a freakin clown....by contrast URI Economic Professor Ladaro was on right after Paalumbo giving his monthly report on the RI Economy....abosolutely insane....Palmubo is part and parcel of the idiots ran us into the financial misery we are in and he wants seat belts for Dogs....folks I really do not have say anymore.......vote this clown and all these clowns out....please...
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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