A driver in Beaverton, Oregon is fighting a $160 citation issued by a police officer who spotted her driving with her dog on her lap.
There is no specific Oregon law regarding operating a motor vehicle with a pet on your lap.In this case, the officer issued a ticket for “Operating vehicle that is loaded or equipped to obstruct driver”, § 815.270.
An animal in your lap is an inherent distraction. But for pet lovers, there may be a more convincing argument against driving a car with a dog in your lap.
As an injury lawyer, I have seen many photos of bad car accidents. Hopefully, you have never seen what happens when an airbag deploys.
Airbags are designed to protect you from brain, head, and face injuries. They deploy very quickly and with a great deal of force.
Imagine what happens when an airbag deploys to protect a driver during a crash – and in between the driver and the steering wheel sits a small dog.
If you travel with your pets in the car, please keep them in back, preferably restrained. Do it because you want to be a safe, fully engaged driver – and because you want to protect your pet.