Q&A on the News


Q: With all the focus on distracted drivers and how it causes so many accidents, I was wondering how it is legal to have a dog riding on the driver’s lap while they are on the road? I am an animal lover and understand the attachment. However, I also think this is dangerous for all, including the dog.

—Susan Sun, Vinings

A: There’s no specific law against driving with pets on the driver’s lap in the Georgia Driver’s Manual, and a Georgia State Patrol spokesman said drivers with pets are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Drivers can be given citations if they cross into other lanes, run a red light or commit other violations while distracted, Sgt. Brian Blankenship told Q&A on the News.

“I’ve not had a problem with (pets being a distraction),” said Blankenship, who added he thinks texting while driving is a more common driver distraction.

Distracted driving is “discussed at length in the Georgia Driver’s Manual and also in the teen driver education curriculum,” a Department of Driver Services spokeswoman told Q&A on the News in an email.

Georgia Code 40-6-241 states: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

The “proper use” of radios and phones are allowed, the code states.

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Will Robinson contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).


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