Now that the government has most of us buckling up when we get in the car, efforts are underway to get us to buckle up our pets. In New Jersey there's legislation pending that will require drivers to either put their pet in a crate while inside the car or strap them in with a seatbelt.
A group of people dedicated to that effort is called Bark Buckle Up (including Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan) and they claim a pet can become a projectile if the car is hit and at just 35 mph, a 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, and that dog will then slam into a driver, passenger or go through windshield.
It's not just to protect the animal. Advocates of the law also say it will stop drivers from being distracted by a pet roaming around the vehicle, as we've all seen a driver with a dog on their lap.
A New Jersey lawmaker is pushing that legislation now.
While that's not a requirement in this state yet, the Louisiana SPCA thinks it's a good idea and Communications Director Jennifer Abbrecht says they would like to see all pets in vehicles in a carrier. "It hasn't quite made it's way down to Louisiana yet. It's just one of those things that we just hope to educate the community and to be sure folks are aware of the safest way to travel."
Pet carriers should be secured also, as they themselves can become projectiles during an accident or a sudden stop.
One thing the LASPCA does hail as a recent victory is the banning of the sale of pets roadside in Louisiana.
If New Jersey passes the law, it would be the toughest such legislation in the nation.