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New Jersey Officials Urge Motorists To Strap In Their Pets While Driving

(credit: Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

(credit: Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

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LEONIA, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The Click It or Ticket campaign applies to pets too.

Man’s best friend can get you a ticket in New Jersey if your dog is distracting you as you drive.

Raymond Martinez, Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission, is reminding drivers they could be fined anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for failing to properly restrain their pets while driving.

1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

“Sometimes we see them on the laps of the driver while they’re operating the motor vehicle and that is dangerous,” Martinez said. “That’s dangerous for the driver, for everybody that comes in contact with that vehicle and it is dangerous for the pet.”

Officials claim improperly restrained pets in moving vehicles is one of the leading causes of distracted driving in the country.

Drivers are being urged to harness or leash their dog inside the vehicle.

“If that car has to stop suddenly, if that car is involved in an accident, what is going to happen to that pet? It’s the same thing that would happen to a child, they’re going to become a projectile unless they’re properly restrained,” Martinez said.

In addition to a fine, drivers could also be charged with disorderly persons offenses under the state’s animal cruelty statute.