Drivers risk a £5,000 fine for driving unsafely with pets

Restrained dogs sleeping in a car

Do you drive with your pets in the car?

With the Coronation weekend approaching and another bank holiday at the end of May, drivers are being reminded to adhere to the Highway Code rules for driving with animals or risk a £5,000 fine.

The Highway Code’s pet peeve 

A survey conducted by Auto Trader revealed that one-third of British drivers who own dogs don’t know the Highway Code’s requirements to restrain pets in the car.

Drivers who don’t restrain their pets properly put themselves and other road users at risk – not to mention their pets.

They also face fines of up to £5,000 if caught driving dangerously with animals.

The Highway Code states that dogs and other animals must be “suitably restrained” so they cannot distract the driver, injure anyone or injure themselves in the event of a sudden stop.

How to restrain animals for safe road travel 

Before restraining your pet, make sure they are fed at least two hours beforehand, so they are in a calm state.

Depending on the size and type of animal you’re dealing with, restrain your pet using a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage, or dog guard.

You may need to trial a few of these options to see which they respond to best, while bearing in mind that some options provide more protection than others.

In collaboration with Auto Trader, Adam Spivey, Director and Master Trainer at Southend Dog Training, advises that “a crash-tested impact crate is the safest way for any dog to travel – it is something you see the police use with their dogs”.

“However, if you can’t do that for any reason then at the very least you must use a very secure seatbelt attachment for your dog.”

Road tripping with furry friends this weekend? Here are the best service stations when travelling with your dogs – perfect for stretching your legs.

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