Pennsylvania bill would require dogs to be belted

| 8/1/2005

Buster better be buckled up while cruising through Pennsylvania or his owner soon could get an earful from law enforcement.

The idea of requiring dogs to be secured while heading down the road came from 11-year-old Mark McCann. He responded to state Rep. Tom Stevenson’s annual “There Ought to be a Law” contest.

Stevenson, R-Pittsburgh, recently submitted the bill to require drivers to keep their pets heads inside the vehicle at all times, The Associated Press reported. Stevenson also wants to require drivers to restrain their four-legged passengers, either with some kind of modified seat belt or in a pet carrier.

Offending owners could be fined up to $300 and sentenced to up to 90 days in jail if their furry friends aren’t properly restrained. If an unrestrained pet causes an accident, owners could be fined as much as $2,500 and jailed for up to a year.

“I never did like dogs sticking their heads out the window,” McCann wrote. “Maybe a sign might have been too close to the road and they’d get hit. Maybe they’d jump out the window on a highway.”

Stevenson told Land Line the bill would protect “not only human lives, but pet lives.”

HB1737 is in the House Transportation Committee.