Time to unleash laws on restraining pets while driving?

Many drivers distracted by pets while behind the wheel

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HOUSTON - Not all driving distractions ring or beep, some of them bark. So should our pets be buckled up as well?

Animal protection and automobile safety officials are trying to spread the message that pets should be restrained while we drive.

In a 2010 survey by AAA, 20 percent of people admitted to letting their dog sit on their lap while driving. According to the same study, 31 percent said they were distracted by their dog while driving.

Only a few states have passed legislation requiring animal restraints in moving vehicles, and in some of those states, laws apply only to animals riding in the exterior of the vehicle, such as the bed of a pickup, according to AAA.

Some choices in pet safety include a doggy belt, safety seats, or travel crates.

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