NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4541
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in
relation to prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle with an animal
in the front seat or an unrestrained animal in the vehicle
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of the bill is to prohib-
it a person from driving a motor vehicle with an animal in the front
seat or an unrestrained animal in the vehicle.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the vehicle and traf-
fic law by adding a new section 1229-e (subdivision 1) that prohibits
the operation of a motor vehicle with an animal in the front seat.
Subdivision 2 (a) Prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle with
an animal in the vehicle unless is restrained.
(b) Provides the definition of a restrained animal Subdivision 3: Estab-
lishes the penalties for violating this section
Section 2: Establishes the effective date
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, New York State has laws requiring that
adults and children are properly restrained in vehicles as well as laws
forbidding citizens from driving while intoxicated or while improperly
using electronic devices. There are however, no laws requiring animals
to be restrained while riding in a moving vehicle.
Like alcohol and electronic devices, animals pose unique safety risks to
drivers, pedestrians, and animals alike. Animals are naturally unpre-
dictable and can distract drivers by obstructing their vision, and
making sudden movements that can cause drivers to lose control of their
vehicles. In the event of an accident unrestrained pets become projec-
tiles and can get easily injured. Some unrestrained pets have also
delayed emergency responders' access to human occupants by attacking
first responders and causing further injury.
Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have
legislation and laws restricting drivers from holding pets on their
laps. The state of New Jersey explicitly prohibits drivers from having
an unrestrained animal in their vehicles. Tickets range from $250 to
$1,000 per violation and drivers can also face a person's offense charge
under animal cruelty laws.
Like adults and children, animals deserve to be safe and protected.
Passing this legislation will protect animals and citizens from the
dangers associated with driving vehicles with unrestrained animals.
This legislation will also help reduce the number of traffic accidents
of this nature
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New legislation
None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.