ANY road users need to take care when they’re out and about to avoid accidents or even hefty fines.
But what about other elements to life on the road?
If you’re taking your pooch along for the ride, you need to make sure you’re still following all the right the rules, and staying safe during the journey.
One is making sure your pet is properly secured in your car before you set off.
Just as humans have to wear a seatbelt, it’s for safety reasons.
You could get at least three points and a possible driving ban if you’re caught not wearing one, but te penalties for your dog are just as bad.
If your good boy isn’t secured in a similar way, then it could been seen as a breach of the Highway Code, and could see owners hit with a fine of up to £5,000 for “careless driving”.
But pet owners even risk invalidating their insurance by driving with animals not safely secured in their vehicle too – so you could be hit with a double whammy if you’re caught or end up in an accident.
You won’t be fined for the simple fact of having your pet in the car – and there are no real rules about where they have to be placed either – so your pet is perfectly fine to call shotgun in their own gruff way if they want.
However, it’s recommended that they sit in the backseat or boot for safety reasons.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code lists a “seatbelt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard” as valid restraints too, if you want to keep on the right side of the rules while they’re in the car.
They’re not measures to be sniffed at either, as if your dog sticks his head out the window you could run into trouble too.
It’s another sign that they aren’t secured properly in the car – as well as being distracting to others on the road.
You could be fined the £5,000 for “driving without due care and attention”, and there could also be the risk of points on your licence too.
Taking a step outside the car
It’s not only motorists that have to worry about the road rules though.
The law and any fines for breaking it apply to any road user, so that could be you on your morning dog walk, simply crossing the street.
Dog owners have to be aware of the laws in their area around letting dogs off lead – if you let them off in an illegal area you could face a £1,000 fine.
The Road Traffic Act 1998 similarly says that it’s a criminal offence for a dog to be on a “designated road” if they’re not on a lead.
So if you let them walk unrestrained across the motorists’ space you could face the hefty fine.
The law requires dogs to be kept on a lead while they’re crossing a road, and if they’re beside also a busy road on the pavement.
No matter how discipline your dog is, there’s no telling when they may dart out into traffic, so it’s important to give due attention.
You could face an eye-watering fine of up to £20,000 and six months in prison if it leads to a road accident, so it’s best to keep them on the leash to be on the safe side.