As a former county “Safe Kids” campaign coordinator, I found last week’s story about unrestrained dogs in vehicles of great interest. Almost on a daily basis I observe truck beds with multiple adults and/or children on St. John roads and streets.
In plain view of law enforcement, these vehicles are not stopped or cited for being in violation of the law. If these trucks, and some times jeeps, are involved in a crash, with or with out other vehicles, all such unrestrained passengers will become human projectiles. Federal statistics indicate that the possibility of permanent brain damage, or death is very real.
Before cracking down on “illegal dog passengers,” for which there is no specific law on the books, let’s enforce the laws regarding “illegal human passengers” first.
Also, VI law enforcement seemed to indicate that dogs cannot be restrained unless they are in a carrier. There are indeed seat belt units designed and marketed specifically for dogs. Is there some reason why residents of St. John are prohibited from using them?
Again, let’s give priority to restraining humans, particularly children who have no say about whether they are told to ride in an open truck bed or the back of a jeep.