Drivers Can Now Face Fines of up To £2,500 for having an Unrestrained Pet in Your Vehicle

We are a nation of animal lovers, from our small furries to our larger pets, and we consider them all as part of the family, but did you know you could face fines of up to £2,500 and penalty points on your licence and in extreme cases a driving ban and compulsory re-test for travelling with an unrestrained pet in your vehicle?

As 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 ways of restraining animals in cars." Although disobeying the highway doesn't necessarily mean you will be will receive a penalty, the police could pull you over and charge you with driving without due care and attention with carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and nine penalty points.

A third of drivers have never even heard of Rule 57 of the Highway Code and some insurance companies are now warning customers that their car insurance could be invalid of they are involved in a accident with an unrestrained pet in your vehicle.

You wouldn't think twice about travelling with a child or other passenger in your vehicle with ensuring they are safely secured so why do we forget about our pets? By taking unrestrained pets in a car drivers are putting themselves at risk of potentially deadly distractions.

If you are involved in an incident and have an unrestrained pet or passenger for that matter in the back seats this can potentially be deadly for you and your pet/passenger.

Tips for Safely Securing Your Pets

If you want to ensure your pets are safe and secure in your vehicle at all times then follow the below tips;

  • Dogs should be secured in to the car with a harness attached to the seat belt, they can also travel in the boot with a secure dog in place, make sure you remember to remove the parcel shelf.
  • Small animals such as smaller dog breeds, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs etc should be placed in a pet carrier and secured with a seat belt on the back seats or on the floor behind the passenger seat.
  • Ensure you have enough water for your pet if you are travelling on long journeys it is advisable to always travel with water in your car if your pet is with you.
  • Use sun shades to cover the windows when it is hot or very sunny to help protect your dog and never leave them alone in a hot car.