By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Click it or ticket. It’s not just for people anymore — at least in the Garden State.

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Police and animal control officers are authorized to cite drivers with unrestrained animals in the car. Yes, that includes the back of a pickup truck too. Violators can be fined $250 to $1,000 per offense.

Ray Martinez, head of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, just wants to avoid distracted driving.

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“People actually driving with a dog or a cat on their laps. It’s not cute. It’s actually dangerous for the driver. It’s dangerous for other drivers and it’s dangerous for that pet.”

Dogs can be placed in harnesses that click right into the seat belt buckle. Cats don’t take well to harnesses for the most part, so they need to go in a carrier. And the carrier needs to be buckled down.

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