Most of us probably drive around with our pets in our cars without thinking twice about it. In the UK, there are millions of pet owners who will regularly have their fur babies in the car with them.
Despite how common it is, there is research to suggest that as many as two-thirds of these drivers don’t know that driving with unrestrained animals in the car can actually result in a £5,000 careless driving fee.
Furthermore, confused.com has shown that more than half of drivers also don’t know that if they’re caught driving with an unrestrained pet in the car, it can also affect their car insurance premium.
Even more importantly, according to Express, there is research to suggest that one in ten drivers have either experienced an accident while driving that is a result of an unrestrained pet, or they know of someone who has.
Article continues below
Our Featured Programs
See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!
The Highway Code Rule 57 clearly says, “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.”
While there is no direct law stating that you’ll be penalized for not adhering to the Highway Code, if police were to stop a driver with an unrestrained animal in their vehicle, they can face a fine of £1,000 for driving without proper control of their car.
Besides this, drivers can also face fines for driving while not paying proper care or attention to the road, which is an offense that can result in fines as steep as £5,000 and up to nine penalty points – something that would result in a court case.
Other penalties that can arise are drivers receiving a driving ban or being forced to retake their practical test. Besides these, there is also the risk that insurance companies will be more than likely to not pay out if you experience an accident that is the direct result of not having your pet properly restrained in the car. Not only are there fines, but there is also the possibility of huge repair costs you’d face if there is an accident.
According to Express, the motoring editor at confused.com, Amanda Stretton, stated, “Many drivers will be joined by four-legged companions as they set off on trips across the UK. But drivers must restrain their dogs properly, or they could receive fines up to £5,000.”
She added, “Driving with an unrestrained pet can also invalidate your car insurance, meaning having to personally pay out for repairs in the event of a claim.”
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →