Summer is now upon us and as more of us holiday in this country, there is going to be an increase in the number of dogs travelling in cars.
So as a responsible dog owner what laws of the road should you be aware of when it comes to travelling with your dog?
A dog suitably restrained is a safe dog
It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that dogs are suitably restrained when travelling in a vehicle. Unfortunately, this is something many people are unaware of and many people continue to travel with their dog in a vehicle unrestrained.
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 a way of restraining animals in cars.”
While breaching the Highway Code is not necessarily an offence in itself, if the Police find you are distracted as a result of travelling without a dog secured, or you are involved in an accident as a result, you may be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention, or dangerous driving.
Further, an unrestrained dog could invalidate your insurance meaning if you are involved in an accident you could be personally liable for the costs associated with this.
Lastly, a dog is much more likely to suffer injury or death if they are not secured in a vehicle, or if inappropriate restrains are used. As you are responsible for the welfare of your dog while travelling in a vehicle, you risk being prosecuted under The Animal Welfare Act 2006, for causing unnecessary suffering to your dog.
It is simple and relatively inexpensive to suitably restrain your dog, so why risk injury to your dog or other people.