Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
New Englanders don't like being told what to do...but sometimes it has to happen.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Hawaii is the only state that has a specific law on the books that prohibits you from driving with an animal in your lap. However, if you find yourself veering all over the road and pulled over because Fluffy is parked in your lap, you might be pegged under other laws - like distracted driving. Now New Hampshire wants to make it a specific law that you can't drive with an animal on your lap.
So you would be able to drive with no seatbelt and no dog. Yes, New Hampshire is the only state that lets adults drive without wearing seatbelts. Live free or die, baby!
This proposal sponsored by Republican state Rep. Jennifer Rhodes would make it illegal for someone to drive with
an animal of any size on their person.
This might be a long-shot bill, but it's chock-a-block full of controversy. Rep. Rhodes told the Bangor Daily News,
I never in my wildest dreams thought that this would become one of the more controversial bills of the session, but by God, here we are.
Jennifer Rhodes came up with this idea and drafted the bill after she watched a young girl almost get hit by a guy driving while holding two small dogs. It seemed like a no-brainer. Word got out and the angry emails started pouring in. The general consensus was, 'stay out of my car'. People love their pets so much that they will defend the right to put them in harm's way. It's so unsafe having a dog in your lap. Would you put your kid in your lap? Aren't animals just furry children?
The New Hampshire bill isn't trying to keep your pets out of your car, just your lap. If caught, it would cost you a $100 fine. Rhodes isn't trying to punish pet owners, she's just trying to keep the pets and everyone else safe.
I'm all for it.