Ask Trooper Steve: Can my pet ride in the front seat of my car?

News 6 traffic safety expert answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – When it comes to pets, most of us see them as a full-time member of our family.

For some of us, we don't go anywhere without them, including taking them with us in our cars. And how many times have you seen a dog with its head out a car window, sometimes on the driver's lap?

But is it legal to drive with pets in your car in Florida?

The latest question for Ask Trooper Steve comes from Cathleigh in Orlando: Is it illegal to have your pet in the front seat with you?

After some serious police work and consulting with people from both sides of the aisle, Trooper Steve determined that it is not illegal. However, there are laws that cover distracted driving, failing to maintain your lane or obstructed views of the driver.  If your fur baby is contributing to you not being able to operate your car safely or within the law, then your pet could be contributing to some poor driving behavior.

Also, what about your pet's safety? If your pet is not secured in a crate or in a doggy belt, where will they go during a crash?

Trooper's Steve advice: Keep your pet off your lap.

If we love our pets as much as we say we do, the last thing we want is for them is to get hurt or cause a situation where you might get pulled over.