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Driving With An Unrestrained Dog In The Car Could Land You A £5,000 Fine

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Driving With An Unrestrained Dog In The Car Could Land You A £5,000 Fine

If you regularly drive with your dog in the car, you could be breaking the law without even realising - potentially leaving yourself open to a £5,000 fine.

According to the Highway Code, your beloved pooch should be restrained while you're driving so they don't present a danger to you or theirself.

Yep, while many people might not think twice about having their dog loose in the car, experts strongly warn against it and the Highway Code says pets must be 'suitably restrained'.

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.

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Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

"A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

Breaking the Highway Code doesn't have its own direct penalty but if police believe you are distracted while driving, you could be handed a £1,000 on-the-spot fine.

This can escalate to £5,000 and up to nine penalty points, or even a driving ban.

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The law recommends the use of a seat belt harness, pet carrier or even a dog cage to keep you and your canine companion safe while you're driving.

As well as being at risk of getting done for 'careless driving', having your four-legged friend unrestrained could also mean your insurance is invalid.

Speaking to The Mirror, Rachel Wait of MoneySuperMarket said: "While driving with your pet in your car - whether in the boot or on a seat - might seem like a harmless way of getting from A to B, the truth is you can risk invalidating your car insurance.

"If you're in a prang with an unrestrained pet in your car, insurers may use it against you - regardless of whether it was as a direct result of the animal itself - so it's worth being on the safe side and making sure 'man's best friend' is properly restrained.

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"Always read your policy in full to make sure you have the correct level of cover for your needs."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

While car expert Mark Tongue from Select Car Leasing told the publication that keeping your dog in the back seat is the safest option.

He told The Mirror: "You should only ever have your dog by your side while driving if you're able, and know how, to disable the front passenger airbag, as some vehicles don't actually have an override function.

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"Failing to disable the airbag could result in catastrophic injuries for a dog. An airbag is designed to provide protection for a human, not a canine, and the cushioning is simply in the wrong place."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: UK News, Animals

Claire Reid
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