I feel like it was a big deal a while ago when NJ said that all pets needed to be restrained in motor vehicles, but I never really heard of anyone getting busted for not having their dog strapped in.

Now, NJ plans to be more strict in enforcing the law, threatening pet owners with fines from $250 to $1,000 and as much as six months in jail for not buckling up their animals.

The law states that pets hanging out the window, riding in the back of a truck or laying on the driver's lap are ticketable offenses.

Tomwang112/Thinkstock

New Jersey is the only state where driving with pets loose in the car is a violation of animal cruelty law. Arizona, Connecticut and Maine can charge a driver for distracted driving if they have an unrestrained pet, and Hawaii prohibits driving with a pet in your lap.

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