There's no accounting for trends. Saltillo tiles were chiseled off floors to make room for distressed cherrywood. Garden gnomes gave way to designer boulders for the backyard. Chai latte, anyone?
On the road, the gas-guzzling SUV is gone (well, we can wish), and hybrids are hot. The ubiquitous hand-held cellphone for drivers has had as much overexposure as golden retrievers, and it's about to become illegal anyway. Over the last year, though, a dangerous driving fashion has gained popularity: a dog or two adorning the driver's lap.
In Southern California, where driving is a form of personal expression, it's unthinkable to begrudge motorists their stick-figure family window decals or their tattered Lakers flags. We draw the line, however, at endangering others. Like ignoring the dividing lines on streets, which, contrary to what some drivers seem to think, were not painted there as decorations. And the dogs.
It's surprising that a bill to ban drivers from holding pets in their laps has been the target of ridicule. AB 2233, introduced by Assemblyman Bill Maze (R-Visalia), has been called a nanny-state bill. That would be true if the intent were to protect the pet. Much as we love dogs, we'll leave that job up to their owners. But if legislators thought hanging on to a cellphone was a driving hazard -- and it is -- what about an animal blocking the driver's vision and ability to hold on to the steering wheel?