News & Opinion | November 30, 2017 9:00 am

Some Heartless Politician Wants to Make Driving With Dogs Illegal

Hopefully the dog eats House Bill No. 5277

By The Editors

Driving with a dog in the front seat is as American as apple pie, Kentucky bourbon and getting really creative with tax deductions. Hell, the great John Steinbeck was so passionate about the practice that he wrote a book about it.

But unfortunately for all Americans but especially Michiganians, it may soon be against the law to cruise the roads of the Wolverine State with a four-legged friend in the front seat. Introduced earlier this week by Democrat State Representative LaTanya Garrett of Detroit, House BIll No. 5277 would make it a civil infraction for a driver to operate a motor vehicle while a dog is sitting in his or her lap — unless the pooch is up there for a verified medical purpose.

If the bill passes, violators would have to pay a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 for any subsequent offenses. Garrett, who has two dogs of her own, told MLive that the point of the bill is to cut down on distracted driving and “making sure Michigan drivers are safe.”

To be clear, she’s not wrong. Distracted driving is a serious problem in the U.S., and it’s on the rise. But, at least in Michigan’s case, we think it’d be more prudent to ban people from using their phones while driving than cite them for petting fido with the vehicle in motion.

BIll No. 5277? Two paws down.