Is it Legal to Drive with a Dog on Your Lap in Maine?
We Love Traveling with Our Canines
Mainers love dogs so much. We take them everywhere we go, including on the road. Sometimes we travel with them for the company and we also take them to their appointments.
That begs some questions about where, exactly, your dog is legally allowed to be while in your vehicle.
Can You Drive with Your Dog in Your Lap in Maine?
We looked into the topic to find the answer because we know it's important to people who love their dogs.
The law is that you can drive with your dog in your lap. However, there is a distracted driving law in Maine to be aware of. Drivers in Maine with dogs on their laps can be charged under this law.
There have been attempts to amend Maine’s law to require a dog to be secure in a vehicle. A recent attempt came in 2016, but that bill was withdrawn.
Securing Your Pet in Your Vehicle is a Good Idea
Does your dog need to be secured with a seat belt or leash when driving? The answer is only in an open vehicle such as a convertible with the top down or the bed of a pickup truck. Most of us know not to travel with a dog - or any animal - in an open vehicle. It’s just not safe.
While you’re not required to have your dog leashed, the Center for Per Safety, a non-profit research organization, does advise pet owners to secure their dogs in the vehicle.
Dogs Love to Go for a Ride
Our dogs like to stick their heads out the window, but the Center for Pet Safety says it can be dangerous. You see this all the time, and in many cases, your dog just loves the wind in its face. They are probably checking out the scenery too, as well as picking up scents in the air.
Although the laws can be limited to distracted driving when riding with a dog or pet in your lap, be cautious. Nobody wants an accident where you or your animal gets hurt.