Driving with a dog in your car could land you with a £5,000 fine

Man driving car with next to him.
A dog roaming loose in a car is considered to be very dangerous (Picture: Getty)

Motorists have been warned they could face fines of up to £5,000 for driving with a dog in the car.

Used vehicle sellers Choose My Car are urging drivers to brush up on the latest regulations before setting off on any road trips with their canine pets.

Research by The Dog’s Trust suggests well over half of motorists do not think it is dangerous to dive with an unrestrained dog. However, the Highway Code’s Rule 57 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.

Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.

‘A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of safely restraining animals in cars.’

Breaching the rule can be punished with an on-the-spot fine of £1,000 – rising to a maximum of £5,000 as well as nine penalty points and even a driving ban and compulsory retest.

Dog waiting in car looking through seat.
It is suggested dogs should be strapped in the back seat so they’re not at risk of being hit by an airbag (Picture: Getty)
Choose My Car founder Nick Zapolski said: ‘Having your dog loose in the car can cause both them and you serious harm.

‘Not only can it be very distracting, in the event of a crash, a loose dog flying through the air could be fatal.

Learn to read your dogs body language. Since no dog I know of is able to mosey up to the kitchen table, pour himself a cup of coffee, and confess to all of the things that annoy, frighten, and stress him out, I suggest that the next best thing is to learn to read your dog’s many signals and body language. This is how your dog will communicate with you.

‘The safest option is to have your dog belted into the back seat, as the passenger seat airbags could also cause your pooch serious harm in the event of an accident. The belts are inexpensive to buy, and simple to use.

‘Most of all, they will keep you and your dog safe, while saving you from the serious implications of breaking the Highway Code.’

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