A car buying service has issued a warning to motorists around driving with your dog in the car.
You may jump for joy when you pass by a car with a dog lolling its head lazily out the window to catch a bit of the summer breeze, but drivers could actually see themselves fined a hefty sum if they cruise along with their dog positioned in such a way.
Choose My Car have since urged UK drivers to brush up on the Highway Code.
As per Rule 57 of the Highway Code, dogs aren't allowed to be in the car when it's moving if they're not securely positioned or restrained.
It reads: "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."
If pet owners don't abide by the rule, they could see themselves forced to pay a £1,000 fine on the spot.
The amount could even be raised to a whopping £5,000.
Drivers could also receive nine penalty points or a driving ban and compulsory retest if they break the Highway Code.
According to Rule 57 of the Highway Code, dogs and other animals must be suitably restrained, for example in a crate or seat belt harness, for safety in emergencies and to prevent the driver from being distracted. Drivers who break the code face a fine up to £5000. pic.twitter.com/NvbER6BXi8— Advocates for Animals | Solicitors (@Animallawyersuk) February 22, 2022
Nick Zapolski, founder of Choose My Car, warned that having your dog 'loose in the car' raises the risk of 'serious harm' to both the animal and driver.
He told Metro: "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."
Did you know that it is against UK law to drive a car if your pet is not suitably restrained? Rule 57 of the Highway Code advises that "A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars" 🐶🐱 #dogs #cats pic.twitter.com/zBhQFhkUp1— White Cross Vets (@WhiteCrossVets) March 5, 2019
The Dog's Trust has also released advice on what to do when travelling in a car with a dog.
From using a seat belt harness, to not allowing your dog to hang its head out the window, as well as making sure dogs don't get overheated, the organisation similarly urges pet owners to brush up on their knowledge of Rule 57 of the Highway Code.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/Alamy