It’s common practice to let dogs stick their heads out the window while driving. After all, they seem to enjoy the air quite a bit and it doesn’t seem to cause any harm.
However, drivers in the UK could receive fines or get points on their license for allowing their dogs to participate in such an act.
According to Rule 57 of the UK Highway Code, “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.”
They cite “suitable restraints” as being a “seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard.”
Mark Tongue, a spokesperson for Select Car Leasing, spoke with Express and said, “We’d recommend you don’t let your dog stick its head out of the window. Not only does that potentially illustrate that the animal is not restrained properly, there’s also the obvious risk of its head coming into contact with something, like a bush or a tree, resulting in a bad injury.”
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He further noted that driving with an improperly restrained dog could result in being prosecuted by the law, especially if the animal is proving to be a distraction to the driver.
According to Tongue, the “most common charge in such circumstances is one of driving without due care and attention which is enough, in some cases, to warrant a disqualification, between 3 and 9 points on your licence, or even a fine of up to £2,500.”
Beyond the potential legal repercussions, it’s also a lot safer for your pet to be properly restrained. A non-serious car accident or even just slamming on the brakes could turn into a tragedy for an unrestrained animal.
According to Dog’s Trust, the safest way to travel with a dog is by using a seat belt harness. It’s also important to make sure the dog can’t reach the driver or go behind them.
According to Dog’s Trust, if you’re traveling in a car with a crate or pet carrier, it’s important to ensure the crate or carrier is properly secured so it won’t slip or be jarred around. The crate should be big enough to allow the dog to stand up and turn around.
The organization also echoed the sentiments of the UK’s law, and said, “Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to hang their heads out of the window as this could be dangerous for them and distracting for the driver and other road users.”
When it comes to those we love, safety should always come first!
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