Driving lesson

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

UK drivers are urged to educate themselves on the laws relating to driving with their dogs or face fines of up to £5,000 – and possibly having to retake their driving test.

Used car buying service Choose My Car has warned dog owners to check the latest regulations before setting off on a road trip with their furry friends.

Research from The Dog’s Trust suggests that over 60% of drivers do not believe driving with an unrestrained pet is dangerous.

Rule 57 of the Highway Traffic Act states: “When you are in a vehicle, ensure that dogs or other animals are properly restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, crate, or dog guard are ways to safely restrain pets in cars.

Drivers who break this advice face fines of up to £1,000, a maximum fine of £5,000, nine points on their license and even a driving ban and mandatory retest.

Choose My Car founder Nick Zapolski encouraged drivers to tether their dogs to keep them and their beloved pets safe.

“Leaving your dog loose in the car can cause serious harm to him and you. Not only can it be very distracting, but in the event of an accident, a loose dog flying through the air could be fatal.

“The safest option is to strap your dog in the back seat, as passenger seat airbags could also seriously injure your dog in the event of an accident. Seat belts are inexpensive to buy and simple to use.

“Most importantly, they will keep you and your dog safe while saving you from the serious consequences of a traffic violation.”