A Dog-Gone Good Start

Long overdue new rule:  Don’t drive with a dog in your lap!  Who knew?

This bill doesn’t go nearly far enough, but it’s a dog-gone good start. With luck it will be amended to add

     1) Cats, ferrets, parrots, iguanas or all the other household pets that people with bad judgment will transport in their lap rather than in a proper carrier while driving;

    2) Escalating penalties for repeated offenses, including suspension or even loss of license for people who refuse to get the message.

If people driving around with dogs or other pets outside of carriers were only a danger to themselves, that would be one thing.

But distracted drivers put people in other cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and the animals themselves at risk — all because some drivers have such poor judgment that they forget that piloting  a couple thousand pounds of metal at roadway speeds is operating a lethal weapon that requires full attention and no distractions.

Kudos to Senator Hansell.


Senate Bill 556 Sponsored by Senator HANSELL (Presession filed.)

SUMMARY The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor’s brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Creates offense of driving with dog in driver’s lap. Punishes by maximum fine of $250.

Relating to traffic offenses.


Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2017 Act is added to and made a part of the Oregon Vehicle Code.

SECTION 2. (1) A person commits the offense of driving with a dog in the driver’s lap if the person is operating a motor vehicle on a highway or on premises open to the public and a dog is in the person’s lap.

(2) The offense described in this section, driving with a dog in the driver’s lap, is a Class D traffic violation.