Why taking your pet on the motorway could cost you a whopping £5000

Many drivers are currently unaware they could be breaking the law resulting in a fine of up to £5,000 by simply taking their pet in the car.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 11:45 am

Pets are often considered an extension of the family, so they are regular vehicle passengers on the roads. One in three pet owners admit to letting their pets ride shotgun or hang their heads out of the window. Millions of drivers are unwittingly breaking the law and leaving themselves open to a fine of up to £5,000 and nine points under rule 57 of the Highway Code.

Not only are drivers taking their pets on short journeys, driving long distances for a nice walk is becoming a popular trend.

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Pets are often considered an extension of the family, so they are regular vehicle passengers on the roads

The number of car breakdowns on UK motorways has risen by nearly 20% since 2014, according to new figures released by Highways England.

It is suggested if you breakdown on the motorway to remove your self from the vehicle in a safe manner and stand away from the car and motorway.

Naturally staying calm the driver would remove the family from the car automatically including any pets, however removing your pet incurs a £2.500 fine and up to 6 penalty points on your license stated by section 56 of the Highway Code.

By law, the driver should leave the pet inside the vehicle, unless it is not safe to do so.

It has been highlighted some recovery vehicles who have to tow away a broken vehicle do not accept pets in their vehicles. Therefore, it is best to mention you have a pet when ringing to avoid disappointment and avoid wasting both parties' time, and ultimately incurring in a longer waiting time.

Last year it was reported 3,780 accidents involving stationary cars, were those parked on the hard shoulder of the motorway.

Dog’s distract people. Seeing a cute dog pass you in the street, it gets people talking and pointing.

This is why it is suggested if your dog needs a toilet stop whilst driving on the motorway or generally you feel its time for a stretch during a long car journey, it is advised to wait until you get to a service station.

As drivers drive at high speeds on the motorway, spotting a dog on the hard shoulder will be a distraction to many drivers and potentially cause a serious accident.

Ross Wild, Digital Marketing Manager of All Car Leasing commented: “There is no question our pets are our best friends and many of us like to take them on journeys for nice walks.

“This can cause problems should you break down and although people may think getting their pet out of the car is the safest thing for them it might not be. Drivers may be distracted from seeing an excited animal and when driving at high speeds any distraction is a bad distraction.

“Many insurance companies look for any reason to not pay out so keeping them restrained while in the car is also vital for your protection.”