New Jersey Pets Need to Buckle Up, Drivers Can Face $1000 Fines

New Jersey Pets Need to Buckle Up, Drivers Can Face $1000 Fines

We’ve got bad news for Jersey dogs that love to hang out the window and feel the breeze flowing through its fur. Did you know that the state of New Jersey has a law that says you have to buckle up your pet or face a $1,000 fine? It’s been around for 16 years, but many drivers in the Garden State had no idea it existed.

This law is the first of its kind in the US that explicitly states that drivers must restrain a dog or cat at all times while in a moving vehicle. There are laws that bar animals from riding in the back of pickup trucks and keeping pets off the laps of drivers, but this is the first that makes it mandatory to buckle or restrain your cat or dog while a vehicle is on the move.

If you live in New Jersey, police troopers can ticket you during traffic stops or seat-belt campaigns. If they see that your pet isn’t safely restrained, you may face a fine that ranges from $250 up to $1,000 for each animal in a vehicle.

It makes sense – your beloved companion can become a flying projectile in the event of a crash or a sudden stop. And even though your pooch may whine about not being able to stick its head out the window, this law is made for both your pet’s safety and yours. You ensure that everyone else in the car is buckled up before heading out – isn’t your pet a member of the family that deserves to be protected as well? You can purchase adapters, special booster seats, harness and travel carriers at any pet store.

What do you think about this law? Do you think all states or provinces should adopt a similar policy? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • opie

    …the ticket is more for an animal than a human…frankly i think new jersey is trying to balance its books with this extortion…

  • Splash’s mom

    In reality I think the law is a good one, how would you feel if you made a sudden stop and here comes fido right though your windshield and dies right before you eyes. Think about it. I also think people who have children seated in the back seat should follow the same law, I see drivers with children in back not buckled.Shame on all who don’t follow the law.

  • Opie

     …i believe they also charge you with an act of animal cruelty…i care about my dog and don’t wish him any harm, but i believe this fine is over the top!… $250 up to $1000?…someone mentioned to me that a seat belt ticket for an adult is around $45…why such a difference?…and to keep it equal, if someone kills your dog, shouldn’t they get charged for manslaughter (or in this case, dogslaughter, which if kept in line with the harnessing law should be heavier penalties and punishment than those for humans!)…

    …i’m all for keeping your pets safe, but i think this law is extraneous…

  • Chesneygirl007

    Ok is it or isnt it the law?  The radio station 101.5  had an article on their site that said it wasnt a law.  So which is it?  Personally its safer for everyone but like to know which it is….

  • Perrius Maximus

    Little that New Jersey does can be considered “good law”. I have never, ever witnessed a dog death due to a panic stop….im sorry but that’s just BS. A restraint may….MAY… help an animal passenger survive a high speed collision….but that’s debatable. In reality there is no way to effectively control the animal’s position in the vehicle (not all dogs want to sit upright like their masters) and so restraining an animal could actually make it more dangerous for the animal, as the restraint could wrap around in an odd position as the animal moves about. The safest way to travel with your animal, is with the animal(s) to be inside of a pet transport or portable kennel while in the moving vehicle. Period.

    This is folly….and just another means for New Jersey…as state renowned for it’s fiscal extortion practices….to line their pockets.