Drivers Face Fines of £5000 for Having an Unrestrained Pet in a Vehicle
Did you know you could face fines of up to £5,000 and penalty points on your licence and in extreme cases a driving ban and compulsory re-testing for travelling with an unrestrained pet in your vehicle?
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly”.
A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.
A third of drivers have never even heard of Rule 57 and some insurance companies are now warning customers that their car insurance could be invalid if they are involved in an accident with an unrestrained animal in your vehicle. You wouldn’t drive with a child or other passenger in your vehicle without making sure they are safely secured so why do we forget about our pets?
Problems can arise if the dog gets excited or tries to get into your lap or knocks the steering wheel or gear stick. What happens if you have a crash? The animal will be thrown forward people have been killed by their pets being thrown into the back of their head or neck. And think of the damage that can be done to the pet.
That is why if they are in a crate that crate must have high-grade steel or it will just collapse that is why I sell good quality crates.
I do not sell flimsy crates that are sold in most pet stores. By having a pet running loose in a car, the driver is putting themselves at risk of potentially deadly distractions. If you are involved in an incident and have an unrestrained pet or passenger can be deadly for you or your pets or passengers.
The Police do stop cars that have animals that are not secure and they can charge you for failing to drive with due care and attention (careless driving) which carries a maximum fine of £5,000 and nine penalty points if the case goes to court.
In extreme cases, the incident could also result in a driving ban and a compulsory re-test. Therefore it is certainly worth considering restraining dogs if not just for their safety but also yours.
It wasn’t too long ago that seat belts and car seats for humans weren’t standard practise or law to wear them. But now that we know better, countless lives are saved every year. It’s at least worth considering that our pets deserve some of the same safety measures that we have come to expect for ourselves.
©Stan Rawlinson September 2019
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