According to experts, a well behaved, perfectly behaved dog might actually see you breaking the law and facing a hefty fine.
Many responsible dog owners want their dogs to be raised to a high standard so that the beloved pet will be obedient and walk side by side with its owner.
Some well-meaning dog lovers are so sure of their pet’s ability that they are tempted to lead their dog off the leash – even on the sidewalk at the side of the road.
But if you’re one of the many British people who allow their dogs to walk off a leash on or near the freeway, you could get in big trouble with the law – and that includes a potential jail sentence and a £ 20,000 bill.
Experts from car leasing site, Choose car leasing, Want to warn dog owners of the dangers so that they don’t work up a sweat.
Graham Conway, Managing Director of Select Car Leasing explains, “If you’ve raised your dog well, that’s good for you. It’s a brilliant thing and you should take pride in being a responsible pet owner.
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“However, don’t fall into the trap of just being too complacent or too confident.
“You may have seen well behaved dogs walking unleashed on busy roads or even crossing busy roads while walking by the side of their owners. To the bystanders, it may appear that the situation is under control. The viewer might even be impressed accordingly.
“But in the eyes of the law it is a criminal offense to land you with a criminal record and a heavy fine.
“And you can understand the reasoning behind the law. If your dog temporarily loses concentration or obedience and eventually falls onto the street, there is a risk that he or she could seriously injure other road users – and himself.
“If the worst happens because of your runaway dog, you could face six months in prison and a £ 20,000 fine.”
The law about dogs on a leash near roads is very clear.
Under the Road Traffic Act of 1988, it is a criminal offense for a dog to be on a “marked street” without being kept on a leash.
Local authorities are also empowered to issue a dog control order with a maximum fine of £ 1,000 – which can be issued as a fixed fine in lieu of law enforcement.
The Highway Code, Rule 56, also says, “Don’t let a dog out on the road alone. Keep it on a short leash when walking on the sidewalk, street, or path shared with cyclists, riders, and pedestrians. This includes riding trails. “
However, there are some exceptions – including for dogs that are used to care for sheep or cattle in the context of a trade or trade or for trained puppies used by the police or the armed forces.
However, Graham Conway of Select Car Leasing points out, “These exceptions only apply if the dog is in service. If the dog only goes for an evening walk with its owner after the work is done, the same rules apply to the leash. ”
There are other important things to consider for dog owners – especially if you are one of the many millions of Britons new to dog ownership who acquired a new furry family member during the pandemic lockdown.
the Choose car leasing Motor vehicle expert reveals: “The Road Traffic Act 1998, Section 27, also stipulates that all dogs – whether near a street or not – should be kept under control by the owner or the person responsible.
“That means if you hand your dog’s leash to your young child – however well meant the act may be – and the dog then runs away while your child loses its grip on the leash, you could be prosecuted.
“The law clearly states that reasonable care must be taken to ensure that the dog does not cause injury or damage by getting on a street. And letting your dog off a leash near a highway just because you think he is infallible is not ‘due care’. “
According to the Association of Pet Food Manufacturers, at the start of the pandemic, a whopping 3.2 million British households bought pets – almost half of them are dogs.
Meanwhile, Select Car Leasing also warned of the dangers posed by vehicle airbags if you take your pooch in the front passenger seat.
A Select Car Leasing spokesman said, “Most dog owners know they must adequately restrain their pet in a car, as required by the highway code.
“But many owners are confused as to whether dogs are allowed in the front seat or not. It’s something of a gray area.
“While it is not particularly recommended – dogs should generally be in the back seat or trunk for their own safety – there are many owners who let their dogs drive their dogs with shotguns, especially if they own a stroller that only has two seats at all .
“But you should only have your dog by your side while driving if you can deactivate the passenger airbag and know that some vehicles do not have an override function.
“Failure to deactivate the airbag can cause catastrophic injury to a dog. An airbag is meant to protect a human, not a dog, and the padding is just in the wrong place.
“When an airbag inflates, it does so with so much force that it could even crush a dog cage.
“We have also heard of cases where the airbag actually catapulted a dog in the direction of the driver, causing serious injury to both the dog and the driver.
“We urge all dog owners, especially those with a lockdown dog and new owners, to be aware of the dangers.”
Some cars allow the passenger airbag to be deactivated – but you must consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual before taking such action.
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