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Dog owners warned of hefty £5,000 fine they could face this summer

by LLB staff reporter
10th Jul 24 7:09 am

Dog owners who let their pets hang out of their car windows could face a hefty fine this summer.

Motoring experts at LeaseCar.uk have warned that Brits with unruly dogs in vehicles could be slapped with a fine of up to £5,000.

This is because Rule 57 of the Highway Code states drivers shouldn’t let their pet in the car unless they are suitably restrained.

So if dogs are allowed to loll out the car window on a hot day, it could be evidence that they’re not buckled in properly.

While disobeying the Highway Code doesn’t carry a direct penalty, drivers could be pulled over by police and fined up to £1,000 for driving without proper control if their pet distracts them.

And if an animal is found to have caused or contributed to a road accident, the owner could be fined up to £5,000 and be hit with points on their licence. It could also invalidate their car and pet insurance.

To be suitably restrained, the pet can be in a belt harness, a pet crate or cage, or in the boot of a car with a dividing dog guard between the boot and the back seats.

Letting your dog hang its head out of the window of your car also poses a health and safety risk for the dog itself, as they could get injured by flying debris or hit an object outside the car.

Small dogs might even fall out the vehicle if the window is open wide enough.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “We all love seeing our dogs enjoying the summer breeze with their heads hanging out the car window, but it actually poses some serious risks.

“Not only is it breaking the Highway Code and potentially distracting the driver, but your furry friend could get hurt by flying debris or, in a worst-case scenario, fall out of the car.

“It’s really crucial to keep pets properly restrained in the car. Think of it like a seatbelt for your dog.

“It’s easy to keep our pets safe in the car this summer. A pet harness, crate, or dog guard in the boot can make all the difference in preventing accidents and avoiding hefty fines.”

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