Failure to properly secure pets in the car could invalidate your car insurance or see you fined up to £ 5,000.
While drivers can be meticulous when it comes to putting seat belts on themselves or their children, not securing pet passengers could become a very costly mistake.
With huge increases in the number of pet owners since the pandemic, and with many families expected to plan a vacation closer to home this year because of the coronavirus, the Uswitch Comparison Service says it expects what more road users than ever are starting to travel with pets as we head into the warmer months. .
And it’s not just dogs that should be properly secured inside a vehicle.
Anything from a cat to a hamster falls under rule 57 of the highway code, which says if it’s okay to take your four-legged friend in a car, he must be safe. in the car.
The rule, published on the government website guide to road safety, reads: “When you are in a vehicle, make sure that dogs or other animals are properly restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or injure you, if you fall into place. stop quickly.
“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog crate or dog guard are some ways of restraining animals in cars.”
While non-compliance with the Highway Traffic Act does not result in direct punishment, drivers risk further fines and penalties if their pet is found to have distracted them while driving.
Motorists are at risk of being stopped by police for not having proper control of a vehicle or for driving without proper care and attention, costly infractions with permit points on a permit, can potentially result in a driving ban and / or a fine – up to £ 5,000 if a case goes to court.
And if your pet’s behavior inside the car is proven to have caused or contributed to an accident, drivers might also find that their auto insurance becomes invalid as well, as with all pet insurance policies in Canada. company they own.
Joel Kempson, auto insurance expert at Uswitch, advises anyone who may be driving with a pet on board this summer to discuss with their insurance companies and the schedules of some repeat trips.
He explained, “Now that the weather is warming up and the holiday season is approaching, it’s important to keep in mind that some locked out pets may not have made a lot of trips to the area. To avoid accidents, try to take your pets on shorter trips before you go on vacation to get them used to the movement.
“When you’re driving, it’s best to be prepared and take it slow. Planning and investing in the right equipment to keep your pets safe can save you a lot of hassle in the long run, as can checking with your insurer to see if your pets are covered. “
DogsTrust launched its own “ Houndway Code ” ahead of the peak periods of previous summers, with the aim of reminding drivers how to best travel with a dog on board. You can find out more about this campaign here.
The RAC breakdown service also reminds motorists visit his website, that not having their dog properly tied up could mean they are at risk of breaking the law.
In addition to advice on choosing a good quality harness, crate or guard to keep an animal safe, he also shares a number of other tips that drivers may want to take on board when on board. ‘they travel with animals.
Buy travel bowls for water, make regular stops, use blinds to block direct sunlight, be extra careful to help furry friends relax, be mindful of motion sickness, and use the car to more than visits to the vet to prevent animals from associating travel with distress is also recommended.