Dog owners have been warned they could face fines of £2,000 for driving with their pet in hot weather.
As the school summer holidays draw near and international travel remains restricted, many families are looking forward to getting away for a staycation.
But what many Brits don’t know is that long car journeys could land them with a hefty penalty fee if they travel with a four-legged friend.
Owners are allowed to drive with pets in the car, but risk being fined a total of £13,000 unless they follow the strict rules set out in the Highway Code.
Car dealer Peter Vardy has compiled information about how to travel with a pet legally and highlighted the costs of breaking the code, reports Bristol Live.
Vardy’s research reveals five mistakes pet owners are making when driving with the pets.
Many pets like to stick their heads out of windows of cars while travelling. Not only could this be a sign of a pet that is not properly secured, it could also cause a distraction to other drivers travelling at high speeds.
You could be pulled over for “driving without due care and attention” which comes with three points on your license and a £2,500 fine.
It’s widely known that pets should not be left in a hot parked car for a prolonged period, or owners could be charged with animal cruelty and landed with a £2,000 fine.
But the rule also applies to driving on long journeys. Direct sunlight through windows can send the temperature inside your vehicle skyrocketing and a hot enclosed space can lead to pets overheating and experiencing heat stroke symptoms.
If you’re committing to a long journey in hot weather, you must take regular breaks and consider investing in sun shades to keep your pet cooler.
Rule 56 of the Highway Code states that if you are broken down on a hard shoulder, you are not to let your pets out of the car.
Doing so could not only cause a distraction to other drivers but a frightened pet could lose control and run out into the road, and breaking the rule can see you pay £2,500.
There’s more to travelling than putting pets on the back seat and hoping for the best. Rule 57 of the Highway Codes state that dogs should be “suitably restrained” so they do not injure you or themselves.
Should a pet that is roaming freely cause you to swerve or break suddenly, you could be landed with a careless driving fine of up to £5,000.
A crash-tested pet seatbelt, cage or secure carrier are the most suitable options for securing your pooch.