New revisions to the Highway Code regarding cyclists have hit the headlines lately, but do you know the rules around travelling with your working dogs or pets in the car? Not buckling your pets up is actually in breach of the Highway Code and could result in you receiving up to a £5,000 fine for careless driving and potentially points on your license!
Rule 57 in the Highway Code advises: ‘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’.
Although the code doesn’t give guidance on where your pets should or shouldn’t be in the car, it is best to avoid putting them in the front seat, unless you are able to disable the passenger seat airbag. An airbag goes off with such force it can result in catastrophic injuries for your pet and can even potentially have the power to crush a dog cage placed on the front seat. You could also find your insurance invalidated if insurers discover there was an unrestrained animal in the car, even if it didn’t cause the accident!
A dog crate or box is the safest and most comfortable way for your pets to travel. Alternatively, a dog guard for the boot will ensure they can’t jump over into the back seat. A pet carrier can suit smaller breeds of dogs and can be easily carried in and out of the vehicle. If for any reason none of these options work for you, dog car harnesses fit around your dog and click into the rear seatbelt fasteners.
To read all the rules surrounding animals and Highway Code, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/rules-about-animals-47-to-58