Pets in lap bill rejected by Tennessee Senate panel

Pets in lap bill rejected by Tennessee Senate panel

April 13th, 2011 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

NASHVILLE - Relax, Fido, Fluffy and your human owners: An effort to ticket motorists who let their dogs and cats sit in their laps while driving failed in the Senate Transportation Committee today.

Last week, the House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, zipped through that chamber on a 72-16 vote.

But senators evidently thought differently. Sen. Stacy Campfield, R-Knoxville, couldn't even get a motion on his version of the bill, which he affectionately dubbed the "Marmaduke bill" after the big lovable dog featured in a cartoon. As a result, the bill failed.

The bill originally banned animals from the front area of the vehicle entirely but was amended to apply solely to the front seat. Campfield, Cobb and others argued having pets travel in the front seat posed a danger because motorists have been known to have difficulties controlling them.