Should dogs be banned from the driver’s seat?

Are you one of those pet lovers who scowls when you see the driver next to you with a pooch behind the wheel? Or maybe you’re one of the 17% of dog owners who admits to driving with a pet in their laps?
Either way, here’s a story to keep your eye on: Two states have legislation in the works that would put a ban on the practice, which critics say puts both owners and their pets in danger.
A bill in Rhode Island was introduced on behalf of a woman who says she was driving with her kids in the car when another driver — who had a dog in the front seat — changed lanes at a busy intersection.
Under the proposed bill, drivers sharing a seat with their pet would face an $85 fine. Second offenses would set drivers back $100 while subsequent offenses would cost $125.
Tennessee has a similar law in the works, and that one just passed the state house. Offenders face a $50 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Dr. E.J. Finocchio, president of the Rhode Island SPCA, says he supports the bill in his state, but does so reluctantly.
“There is really no purpose, in any shape or form, for a dog to be on somebody’s lap,” Finocchio tells HLN. “If people had common sense, we don’t have to pass a law such as this. But I guess people don’t have common sense and it’s unfortunate that we have to become intrusive in the lives of people who do have common sense.”
Finocchio says there are several safer options for transporting your pet in your vehicle: You can use a harness to secure them to the front or back seats or you can place a crate in the back of your car.
Lawmakers in California successfully passed a similar bill in 2008, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
What do you think: Would you support legislation in your state making it illegal for people to drive with dogs in their laps?  It seems to go hand in hand with the new distracted driving laws that are sweeping the nations state by state, not to mention the Federal push to enact such laws. 

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