Your pets and Rule 57 of the Highway Code
As most of us should already know, the UK law requires that drivers and passengers of cars, vans and other commercial vehicles must wear a seat belt, where available. As the driver of the vehicle, you will be responsible for ensuring that anyone under the age of 14 wears a seat belt or uses an appropriate child restraint.
What you may not know though, is that dogs have to be restrained too!
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."
Runa Hanaghan, deputy veterinary director of The Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog-welfare charity said “It's important to restrain dogs in the car both for their own safety and that of everyone else. If an accident happens, the dog can be thrown forward and injured. It can also act as a missile within the vehicle and hit other occupants.” Driving with an unrestrained pet could potentially lead to offences punishable by fines of up to £2,500.
Not only that, but it could invalidate your motor insurance!
To keep you, them and other road users safe, always strap them in a harness, a pet carrier, a dog cage or a dog guard. There are a number of accidents in the UK because of dogs in cars and how the pet behaves in the vehicle. It's not to say that you shouldn't have your animal in your car or van, but you should restrain them using one of the above methods to ensure you have the best chance of protecting both yourself and your beloved pet.
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