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I've just learned that dogs have to be restrained in cars, to avoid hefty fines

(57 Posts)
StillIInDenial Sat 23-Sep-17 14:49:58

Highway Code #57 states that dogs and other animals must be suitably restrained for both their own protection and that of others.

Failure to do so can result in voiding insurance and down running into thousands.

Learn something new every day!

RantyMare Sat 23-Sep-17 14:51:49

I think it's if you're in an accident or such. Not a legal thing the police will pull someone for. Besides what is 'suitably restrained'?

LadyInDread Sat 23-Sep-17 14:55:10

However much you love your dog and vice versa, a medium size dog will have enough weight to it to kill you if it gets flung in an accident.

Anything big in your car is worth strapping down to be honest.

AdoraBell Sat 23-Sep-17 14:57:00

I didn't realise it was in the Highway Code.

StillIInDenial Sat 23-Sep-17 15:05:02

Yes you can't get pulled over for it, but you can get fined if found wanting.

Apparently appropriate restraint equals harnessed to seatbelt, caged or behind bars in the boot.

LegoShmego Sat 23-Sep-17 15:07:43

I'm guilty of not restraining my dog, he's a large dog too blush

PlayOnWurtz Sat 23-Sep-17 15:10:59

I have a harness to seatbelt buckle clip which is fab...until my dog decides to unclip it! I know she's about to do it too as she sits and stares at me in the rear view mirror before hitting the button with her paw.

My dog is a complete shit and I do need to get a crate for the car!

CornflakeHomunculus Sat 23-Sep-17 15:12:11

It's also worth noting that a lot of car harnesses or seat belt attachments are actually intended only to prevent a dog moving around in the car, they're not safety devices and many will fail (sometimes catastrophically) in the event of a crash.

Centre for Pet Safety car harness tests

NRMA Insurance car harness tests

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 23-Sep-17 15:38:39

You absolutely can be pulled over. My friend's none-too-bright husband had their two staffies in the back without a harness and he was stopped by the police because they were putting their heads out of the window. I don't think they did anything except give him a lecture, but I'm fairly sure she felt he deserved it!

BaggypantsCrimplesnitch Sat 23-Sep-17 15:39:31

Our dog is only small, so he travels on my lap, but he wears one of these:

It fits like an ordinary harness, but it has a loop on the back that you put the seatbelt through before plugging it in. If it's only him and the driver it still works, keeping him safely restrained on the passenger seat - he's comfortable but can't move around too much or get off the seat.

Incidentally, as well as the danger an unrestrained dog would pose to the humans in the car in the event of a collision, I've also heard a couple of accounts where the family dog got thrown forward and broke its neck on the dashboard or the seat in font, so it's safer for the dog as well.

bigbluebus Sat 23-Sep-17 16:07:24

One of my neighbour's daughters drives with the dog sitting on her knee. Makes my blood boil. It is not a well behaved dog either.

Dizzywizz Sat 23-Sep-17 16:14:12

You don't mean you drive with your dog on your lap do you Baggypants? That can't be safe!

Lilmisskittykat Sat 23-Sep-17 16:55:03

Really interesting post..

I do have a clip for my dog that's like a seat belt extension that just attaches to her walk harness but those videos have opened my eyes up

Just off now to buy something that passed a test to actually give her a fair chance if the worst happened some of those videos are distressing

debbs77 Sat 23-Sep-17 16:57:03

I put my dog (elderly) in the passenger footwell. No spare seats in my car. Assuming I can't do that now!

Fireinthegrate Sat 23-Sep-17 17:01:23

There's a thread about this in the MN doghouse which gives plenty of info

Lemondrop99 Sat 23-Sep-17 17:05:20

This is a personal bug bear of mine. I have a large dog who only travels in the boot, behind a dog guard and clipped onto a secure attachment. So many reasons for this

1. Your and your passengers personal safety. I have a 40kg cannonball behind my head if we crash. So dangerous

2. Obviously your dog's safety too

3. If you crash, the dog can escape and cause further accidents running around on the road.

It's just common sense and I don't understand why people don't do it.

foolonthehill Sat 23-Sep-17 17:05:57

Also,if you are in an accident the dog will be restrained in the car....not potentially out on the highway at risk from other traffic, nor putting rescue services at risk when anxious and possibly aggressive from fear/injury.

Even a small dog can break a person's neck if "flying" from the back seat to the front passengers (or boot forwards) in an accident...

foolonthehill Sat 23-Sep-17 17:06:55

cross post grin

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Sat 23-Sep-17 17:10:58

Some years ago I witnessed an incident that will stay with me. .
Walking dc to school I could hear the most awful strange howling echoing in the street.
A car pulled into the path with its hazards on. .
I went over and an old man was sitting crying.
One of his 5 ddogs had its head trapped in the window. It had stood in the electric window button and jammed open a couple of inches. .
I flagged down a council wagon and told them they had to do something!! One of the men manhandled the window until it went down a bit and the dog was released. . It was one of the worst animal experiences I have ever had. I told the man to sit for a while as he was in no state to drive. .
My dogs have seat belts now. .

InfiniteSheldon Sat 23-Sep-17 17:11:10

Years ago when I was very young I did an emergency stop and my poor Jack Russel shot through from the back seat and banged his head on the gear stick ever since I've been Uber paranoid about dog safety. We now have two small dogs who have their own car seats that attach to the rear seats and then the dogs are harnessed in them. I won't even let them go on the front seat as I'm pretty sure the airbag would kill them. My DH attended an accident where the family Dachshund had gone through the windscreensad

Nifflerbowtruckle Sat 23-Sep-17 17:11:53

I have a crash tested harness for my dog but hope to get a crash tested crate for the boot eventually. Aside from the usual reasons for restraining your dog, if your in an accident and your dog is badly injured you'll have to pay for the likely high vet bills. You might as well pay less for a decent restraining device and keep you and your dog safe.

LegoShmego Sat 23-Sep-17 17:32:43

Was the dog dead winter shock

BaggypantsCrimplesnitch Sun 24-Sep-17 00:43:38

@Dizzywig - no, he only travels on my lap when DH is driving. I didn't make that very clear, did I? Sorry!

Dizzywizz Sun 24-Sep-17 09:41:58

Ha that's ok Baggypants, same here with my shih tzu

Nifflerbowtruckle Sun 24-Sep-17 09:45:21

The thing is baggypants if your dog is on your knee even if your a passenger if your in an accident the dog will either be hit full force by the airbag or you will fly forward and crush the dog between your body and the dashboard. It's much safer for them to have their own seat.

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