Treat Your Kids At Least As Good As Pets


The other day I was on duty when I stopped at the Post Office to mail a package.  As I was returning to my patrol car, a woman stopped me and wanted to ask my opinion on having pets restrained in vehicles while they are in motion.  She actually did most of the talking.  She was very concerned about how pets are allowed by their owners to put their heads out the window while driving on a highway. She described herself as an “animal lover” and she is very protective of her pets. 

      She went into great detail how a Golden Retriever that belonged to her friend had a piece of gravel strike the animal in the eye causing a serious injury.  She was angry at her friend because once the dog had recovered from the injury she saw her driving down the road with the dog hanging its head out the window again.  She described this event as “animal cruelty” and she felt her friend should have her dog taken away and have to pay a heavy fine. She described her friend and others like her, as “totally irresponsible and uncaring.”

Sign Up for E-News

      She stated that the new law concerning having your pet restrained in a car was a good start but did not go far enough.  She suggested that the Sparta Police become more “aggressive” in writing tickets to those people who choose to put their pets at risk.  I didn’t disagree with her in fact; I don’t think I said anything except nod and smile.  She thanked me for listening, shook my hand and got into her car.  She seemed nice enough.

     I stood their watching as she was backing her Honda Accord out of the parking space. When I realized that there was something very wrong inside her vehicle.  I motioned with my hand for her to stop.  I then walked up to her window which she was in the process of rolling down.  Inside the car were her two teen-aged daughters.  One seated in the front passenger seat and the other seated in the back seat behind the driver. Neither mom nor the kids were wearing their seatbelts.

     I politely said to her, you should make sure that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained before you put your car in gear.  She looked at me in disbelief and then she rolled her eyes. 

She sarcastically told her daughters…”please put your belts on so the officer will let us go. He looks really busy.” 

She then mumbled, “This was sure a waste of time.” 

She then drove away.   

There is no doubt that pets are important members of our respective families and as such they have to be properly cared for and protected from harm.  Its absolutely ridiculous that an adult cannot apply the same logic when it pertains to children or other people who are passengers in their vehicle.

     There are some people in this country that consider utilizing seatbelts are a matter of “personal freedom.” However, personal freedoms stop where others are injured or killed. Thousands of studies conducted nation wide over the last thirty years all contain the same conclusion: seatbelts do save lives and reduce injuries during crashes.  The State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety Office of the Attorney General stated in their most recent study that; “More than 2,000 unbuckled drivers and front seat passengers were killed on New Jersey roadways in the past 10 years.”  The study also revealed that during the same time period; “700 unrestrained drivers and front seat passengers were ejected out of their vehicles during the crash and died.”

      A recent report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Board stated that; “States with secondary enforcement average only 63 percent belt use but states with primary enforcement in belt laws (including New Jersey) average 78 percent belt use.”  Most states however do not have standard laws for seat belt use.  In short the report went on to say; increasing the national seat belt use rate to 90 percent from the current 68 percent would prevent annually an estimated 5,536 fatalities, 132,670 injuries and save the nation $8.8 billion dollars.” 

       In New Jersey front seat passengers were the only occupants that were required to wear a seat belt that is until January 18, 2010 when legislation was signed into law requiring all adult back seat passengers to be seat belted. Before this became law, unbelted back seat passengers posed a significant danger to everyone else in the vehicle during the event of a car crash.  Unbelted back seat passengers become human missiles as they continue to move at the same rate of speed as the vehicle that they are traveling in until they hit something.  That something could be another passenger sitting in front of them.  What is not uncommon at all, is during the dynamics of a motor vehicle accident is unbelted passengers do get ejected from the vehicle which at times results in serious injuries or death.  A report prepared by the Center for Transportation Injury Research Sate University of New York stated; “The odds of death in a head-on crash are three times greater for unbelted back-seat passengers…even greater than for the driver.”

       The next time you are driving your car, you should certainly make sure your pets are safe and have plenty of water and food with them but your first priority is to ensure your children, passengers and yourself are all properly wearing their safety belts. 

Remember, in the State of New Jersey, driving is a privilege not a right. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Drunk Brooklyn Man Asks Police to Shoot Him

May 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Brooklyn man was taken for observation when he asked police to shoot him after having crashed his car down an embankment on County Road 517 near the Sparta Middle School.  On May 17 around 2:06 a.m. Sparta Police Officers Brian Porter and Timothy Lynott found Joshua Lindland of Brooklyn asleep in the driver’s seat of a gray Audi against a tree, police ...

Sparta Police: Passengers Face Drug Charges in Traffic Stop

SPARTA, NJ – Two Wantage women face drug charges after the car they were in was stopped for a broken headlight on Route 15.  On May 5 around 2 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Ben Griffin pulled over Alex Torres, 22, driving a white Honda Accord with two passengers, police say.

The officer saw a metal marijuana grinder behind the driver’s seat.  The car and ...

JCP&L Latest Information, Free Ice and Water

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – As of 8:47 p.m. JCP&L is reporting 12,745 customers or 22.11 percent, are without power in Sussex County.  In Sparta 2749 or 32 percent remain in the dark.

JCP&L said they anticipate the “vast majority of the remaining customers to be restored to service by late Thursday.”

JCP&L customers without power can get ice and water ...

Republican Party Values

May 21, 2018

Campaigns are interesting things.

Throughout the process, my opponents' supporters have labeled me a "political prostitute", "pimping" a message as a "spokesperson". I've been in a public meeting when referred to as a "lackey" who 
"belongs in a cage like the animal you are".

It's been said directly to me by a ...

Ethical Or Political Stunt

On May 9th Sussex County Freeholder Director Jonathon Rose announced formation of the Sussex County Transparency Committee. A committee established to monitor the ethics of County politicians.  

Alarming is what was left out of this announcement. Besides naming the dynamic duo Lazzaro and Graham, two other names show cause for curiosity. Jonathon never acknowledged, nor did he ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sat, May 26, 11:00 AM

Sparta High School Media Center, Sparta

Sparta High School Art Gala

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sat, June 9, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Sat, June 16, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Thu, June 21, 2:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Summer Afternoon Garden Soiree

Home & Garden


Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Newton's Petition to Move Election Certified, Tabled to May 30 by Council

May 15, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—The petition to move elections from May to November was certified by the clerk and presented to the Newton Town Council at the meeting on Monday night.  The petition has been circulating since April and was a point of controversy in the recent council election campaigns.

According to the town attorney, the town clerk certified “369 valid signatures of qualified ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 25, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Why You Should Buy Your NJ Home Before Interest Rates Rise

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, marking a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. Many factors fueled the current pace of acceleration.  Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, opines:

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage ...

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?


Bottom Line

According to the US Census Bureau, ‘millennials’ are defined as 18-36-year-olds.

According to NAR’s latest Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the median age of all first-time home buyers is 32.

More and more ‘old millennials’ (25-36) now realize homeownership is within their grasp now!

Are YOU ready for ...

Find Your Dream Home During Our DOUBLE Open House Weekend!

The forecast for this weekend is rain, rain, and more rain---so why not spend your time touring your new home?  Team Nest Builder offers 2 wonderful Open Houses this weekend, PLUS a new listing for you to check out via video tour!

27 Hilltop Trail, Sparta

Step into your own fairytale with this Lake Mohawk, storybook-sweet 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom gem! Gather in front of the rustic ...

Help Feed Hungry Sussex County Families Through Foodstock

Did you realize food pantry shortages INCREASE during the summer months? Decreased donations and increased need due to the summer break from school lunch and breakfast programs leave many Sussex County families hungry.  

Enter Foodstock:  an annual spring countywide food drive started 15 years ago through the coordinated efforts of Pass it Along, United Way of Northern New Jersey, ...

3 Tips for Making Your Home-Ownership Dream a Reality


Here's Highlights:

Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check = one of the best ways to save without thinking much about it.

Living within a budget right now helps you save money for down payments while also paying down other debts holding you back.  What are you willing to cut back on to make your dreams of homeownership ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 video

SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ - Video of the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders May 9 meeting. 


SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Newton Town Pool Registration is Open

May 23, 2018

NEWTON, NJ – Memberships are available for the Newton Town Pool for the 2018 summer season. 

The Newton Town Pool has two water slides, a fully enclosed kiddie pool with walk-in entry, a grass picnic area, a picnic pavilion, lounge chairs, large pool umbrellas, snack stand, updated change rooms and an ADA lift.

The pool will be open June 25 through August 26.  Open swim ...