Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers.

Send questions for consideration to youasked@starherald.com or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.

One day, when I was driving, I saw a woman driving and she had her dog in her vehicle. However, the dog was all over the vehicle and it seemed dangerous. Are there restrictions regarding pets riding in vehicles? Do they have to be secure? Also, is it legal for dogs to ride in the back of pick-up trucks?

This question ties in to another submitted question regarding passengers interfering with the driver, so we will cover both aspects. According to Nebraska Statute, no person shall drive a motor vehicle with an overloaded front seat or with three or more persons obstructing the view of the driver or interfering with the driver’s control of the vehicle. The statute also states no passenger can ride in a position that interfered with the drivers view or control of the vehicle.

So, if your dog will lay down for the ride and not interfere with your driving, I don’t see a problem. It would be ideal to secure your pet in a kennel or carrier of some sort. There are also restraint systems which are basically a dog seatbelt.

While the statute doesn’t specify the dog being secured, it is clear the driver cannot be interfered with while operating the motor vehicle.  There is also no statute prohibiting a dog from riding in the back of a pickup truck however it is probably not the safest choice for the dog.

My friend always texts at the stoplights or stop signs. It's annoying. Is this a violation of the texting while driving laws? She says it isn't.

In the state of Nebraska, no person shall use a handheld wireless communication device to read a written communication, manually type a written communication, or send a communication while operating a vehicle which is in motion.

While it’s probably not ideal, it is not illegal to read your text message while at a stoplight since you are technically not in motion. As for the stop sign, in most instances you probably wouldn’t be at a stop long enough to take out your phone, read/reply, etc., without impeding traffic around you.

There are a few exceptions to this ordinance which directly apply to law enforcement, firefighters, ambulance drivers, and emergency medical technicians who are performing their official duties. Another exception is for a person operating a vehicle in an emergency situation.

An exception can also be made for a person operating a commercial motor vehicle if the texting is necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services.

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