Is it Legal in Massachusetts to Drive with a Dog on Your Lap?
Massachusetts has some head-scratching laws as we have discussed in the past. One law I find particularly interesting and humorous is the one about a certain activity performed within the privacy of your own home. You can check that one out by going here. Then there are some Massachusetts laws that make sense like this one which can halt this fun but risky activity that people like to perform in their backyards. As matter of fact, many Berkshire County residents got away with doing this recently as law enforcement usually turns a blind eye to this hobby around this time of year. We can go on and on regarding weird and interesting Massachusetts laws. Actually, you can check out 31 of them by going here.
Let's Not Forget About the Massachusetts Hands-Free Law
Another dangerous activity that has had an official law put on it is using electronic devices while driving or what is known as the Massachusetts Hands-Free law. This is a pretty reasonable law as many motor-vehicle accidents across Massachusetts have occurred due to motorists not keeping their eyes on the road due to distractions. I'll admit that I have been guilty of holding my phone in the past while driving throughout Berkshire County whether it's Pittsfield, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, etc. Now, I just dial up the number of the person I want to talk to before I start my vehicle, put it on speaker mode, and place my phone in the little phone tray in my car and I'm good to go, hands-free.
Okay, so we know that we shouldn't be using our cell phones or other devices when driving. Quite frankly we shouldn't be doing anything that would take our eyes off the road but we all have found ourselves eating while driving or messing with radio presets etc. One thing that motorists do from time to time is drive their cars with their pets on their laps. I mean really? That's pretty distracting if you're driving down the road and you have your dog on your lap. You know where this is going.
Is it Legal in Massachusetts to Drive with a Pet on Your Lap?
Here is the actual law from the Massachusetts Legislature:
No person, when operating a motor vehicle, shall permit to be on or in the vehicle or on or about his person anything which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle or any equipment by which the vehicle is operated or controlled,” Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 90, Section 13, reads.
So, it looks like one could argue with law enforcement and say something like "my dog isn't causing a distraction or he/she's just sleeping on my lap" but let's be honest, is it really a good idea to drive with a pet on your lap? Keeping yourself, your pet and other motorists safe is key when on the road. Plus, it keeps more money in your bank account.