Belt up! How strapping in your cute pooches could save you a whopping £5,000 fine
Here at ChooseMyCar, we’re definite dog lovers. We can’t get enough of those cute canines.
But did you know that your precious furballs could cost you up to £5,000 if they aren’t suitably restrained when travelling in your car? No? Us neither. So we decided to spread the word that UK drivers must check the latest regulations before taking a road trip with their furry friends. We believe many owners - particularly those who are new to dog ownership after acquiring a lockdown puppy - are not well informed on the rules, leaving them exposed to harsh penalties. This is backed up by recent research by The Dog’s Trust, which suggests that more than 60% of drivers don’t believe that driving with an unrestrained pet is dangerous.
So, what's the lowdown on the latest legalities?
Currently, 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 safely restraining animals in cars.”
Being in breach of this advice can see drivers facing on the spot fines of up to £1,000, a maximum fine of £5,000, nine points on their licence and even a driving ban and compulsory retest.
It may seem extreme, but our founder (and dog lover!), Nick Zapolski, can see the point.
“Having your dog loose in the car can cause both them and you serious harm. Not only can it be very distracting, in the event of a crash, a loose dog flying through the air could be fatal.
“The safest option is to have your dog belted into the back seat, as the passenger seat airbags could also cause your pooch serious harm in the event of an accident. The belts are inexpensive to buy, and simple to use. Most of all, they will keep you and your dog safe, while saving you from the serious implications of breaking the Highway Code.”
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ChooseMyCar Staff Writer
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