Illinois State Rep. Dan Burke Wants to Ban Dogs from Front Seat of Cars

| by Michael Allen

Illinois State Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago) has co-sponsored a bill that would make it illegal for dogs to get in the front seat of cars.

"Because I travel, I can't help but observe the number of people with dogs on their laps," Burke said. "It is a public safety concern. If a driver is distracted, certainly it would be a risk to other motorists on the road."

Under the proposed law, getting caught with a pet in the driver's seat would carry a $25 fine, reports

Amazingly, the proposed legislation faces opposition in the State House, said bill co-sponsor, Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton).

"This is, unfortunately, the worst time in our state's history," Burke explained. "It's a matter of prioritizing. ... Everything is timing."

Burke is hopeful Illinois will ban dogs from drivers' laps just as New Jersey and Hawaii have already done.

According to a 2010 AAA survey, 65 percent of dog owners admitted to engaging in distracting activity while driving with their dog.

Burke travels often with his schnauzer from Chicago to Springfield, but says the dog stays in the back seat: "He would certainly prefer to be in the front seat, but that’s not happening."

Sources: and