Know the Road with the CHP: Can I drive with my dog on my lap?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An ABC30 viewer wanted to know: can I drive with my dog or cat on my lap?

"The answer is simply, no, specifically there's no Vehicle Code section that prohibits this," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol. "However, it could be, meaning that if the dog becomes a distraction, distracted driving could be illegal because it causes you to do other violations, or if the dog becomes an obstructed view, then that's a violation. So technically, it could be illegal."

"However, is it recommended? Absolutely not," Pennings said. "Most vehicles are equipped with sensors in the front that are specifically designated to measure differentiation and speed, which, in the event of a collision, would activate the airbag."

"If you're sitting in your vehicle with a dog in your lap and you're involved suddenly in a collision, and the airbag deploys at several hundred miles per hour, it will more than likely take the life of your dog and could cost you your life as well," he explained.
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