Is It Legal To Drive With A Pet On Your Lap In Illinois?
I feel like I see this often: drivers with a small dog or cat in their lap. But is it something you can legally do in Illinois?
It's one thing to have your pupper ride in the backseat of your car, enjoying the pretty weather and any 'pup cups' you get at a local coffee shop. It's fun to let them get out and explore a bit.
It can become a problem when people feel comfortable driving around with the little fluffball in their lap. It's like trying to eat or text when you drive. It's something that's distracting you from the road and therefore a bad idea.
The Push To Make It Illegal In Illinois
Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in Illinois to make it illegal to drive around with a pet in your lap and something that would earn you a petty offense that could carry a $50 fine with it.
While some social media posts claimed it became law, according to it's history and also USA Today, it failed to pass once it was brought to the Illinois House floor. But the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jawaharial Williams, isn't giving up on it. He said:
However, I do plan to propose the bill once more in the future. I see this as an unforeseen hazard that God forbid may lead to something terrible, which I am simply trying to avoid.
Back in 2013, a similar bill was proposed to make it illegal to drive with a pet on your lap in Illinois. That one failed too.
So Can You Drive With A Pet On Your Lap?
According to vehicle law website Psycho Autos, it's not illegal to drive with your dog in your lap in Illinois.
Does that mean it's a good idea? Definitely not.
Illinois Secretary of State's office calls driving with a pet in your lap 'distracted driving' and for that, you can be pulled over. If you drive distracted, the state says you're 23 times more likely to cause a crash, so pay attention.
Be safe and smart if you choose to travel around with your furbabies in the car with you!