Drivers could fetch hefty fines for unsecured dogs

Drivers could fetch hefty fines for unsecured dogs
Motorists are failing to secure their pets as safely as they would other members of the family, a new survey suggests.

According to the study by Ford, 32% of motorists risk being collared by a £5,000 fine for failing to secure their pets when driving. You could even invalidate your insurance.

A quarter even let their four-legged friend dangerously stick their head out the window, and others admit their unrestrained pooches have caused an accident.

Experts are urging motorists to ensure they transport dogs correctly, to keep their pets safe and themselves on the right side of the law.

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Whether you’re taking your pet to the vets or on a longer road trip, the Highway Code states motorists must ensure dogs are “suitably restrained” while travelling in the car.

Failing to do so could see you hit by an on-the-spot fine of £100 if you’re deemed to be distracted by an unrestrained pet, which could rise to £5,000 if you fail to pay.

According to dog training expert Graeme Hall, aka ‘The Dogfather’, the best way to do this is by using a crate or carrier that can be placed in your car’s boot.

“If you have a pet, please think of its safety in the same way you would about any other member of the family. I always carry my dog Lily in the boot in her crate.”

He added: “She can comfortably move around and everyone’s safe. I believe that’s the best solution.”

As well as investing in a suitable harness or dog guard, you should also make sure you carry water and use window shades to ensure your dog stays cool, especially in warmer temperatures.

Never leave a dog locked in the car alone, particularly on warm days when temperatures inside the car can rise rapidly, leaving dogs dangerously overheated in minutes.

If your pet dies as a result of being left in a hot car, you could be charged with animal cruelty and hit with an unlimited fine, jail sentence and be banned from owning animals.

In 2017, a motorist was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for two years, a £1,900 fine and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years after three dogs died in the back of his car.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

Did you know, you can get fined for moving out of the way of an ambulance?

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