Motorists are totally unaware of an unknown Highway Code rule which could see their loving pet dog cost them £5,000 in driving fines. That’s according to a survey conducted by Auto Trader which found that more than a third are at risk of penalty.
Rule 57 in the travel handbook states that dogs must be suitably restrained in a vehicle through using a harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard. If these guidelines are not followed and drivers get into an accident caused by a doggie distraction, they could be liable to the hefty fine.
But it could get worse, as Auto Trader’s Canine Car Report revealed that 12% of motorists do not have car insurance that covers accidents involving pets. It found that 34% of drivers had no idea of the ruling, while a quarter (24%) admitted they do not restrain their pets while on the road.
Erin Baker, editorial director at Auto Trader, said in a statement: “We know that for many people, four-legged friends are an integral part of day-to-day lives, which is why so many of us want to take them with us wherever we go. But it is so important that drivers who are taking their dogs in the car are aware of the Highway Code’s requirements to properly restrain their pets.
“As our dogs can easily get distracted by things happening outside of the car, their reactions could lead to distracting the driver, which can cause road accidents. Not only does this put your pet at risk of, but also yourself, your vehicle and others on the road.
She continued: “It’s vital that drivers find appropriate harnesses and pet guards – whatever restraint their dog responds best to – and use them for every journey, no matter how far they are travelling. We want everyone to be able to enjoy time in their cars with those they love, including their canine companions.”