Leaving you dog at home might be unthinkable for you, but having him in the car isn't necessarily a good idea either. Having your dog in the car can lead you to commit various driving offences. Because nowadays driving offences are linked with penalty points, you dog can get you points. And if you already have points on your license, it's perfectly possible that your dog could lead you to get enough points that your license is suspended. Don't believe us? The continue reading to find out just how it could happen...
1. Dangerous Driving
Having an unsecured dog in the car is considered dangerous. Dogs are unpredictable, and him leaping around in the back of the car is a distraction. Even if he just comes to you looking for a cuddle or a treat, it's enough to make you take your eyes off the road and have an accident. As soon as your car starts to veer or not follow a straight path on the road you are technically guilty of dangerous driving. The police have quite a lot of discretion in deciding what constitutes dangerous driving, and it's perfectly possible that you could be stopped and given points for having an unsecured dog. The good news is that there are various methods available for restraining dogs in cars, so this isn't a necessary risk. Make sure your dog wears his doggy seat belt!
2. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is actually an offence nowadays. And dogs can be a distraction. Anything that causes you to take your focus away from the road is considered a distraction. And a police officer seeing you paying more attention to your furry little friend in the back seat than to the road in front of you can stop you for being distracted. Distracted driving equals penalty points.
3. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving and dangerous driving are not necessarily the same offence. Reckless driving is considered as endagering other drivers on the road, whereas dangerous driving can concern only yourself and your own vehicle. By not paying attention to your driving and looking after you dog instead, you may be driving recklessly. And to be fair, it is perfectly possible that you could cause an accident. Reckless driving costs a lot of penalty points, and can be more than enough to get your license taken away.
4. Causing an Accident
If your dog running around is enough to take your attention off the road for long enough that you actually have an accident, you can get penalty points for causing said accident. There are a variety of dangerous and reckless driving rules that you can be accused of breaking if you are the direct cause of an accident. Not to mention the possibilities of injury or fatality that will also cost penalty points. Causing an accident where people are injured or killed is highly likely to get your license taken away from you, at least for a few months while the case goes to court.
This sounds funny, but is technically true. Many location have laws against littering from vehicles. And anything that comes out of your car window, whether it's a coke can, a cigarette butt or your dog is technically considered to be litter. So if your dog jumps from your car window whilst your car is in motion, you could be accused of littering. Okay, it's pretty unlikely, but it is a possibility. Whilst you should never leave your dog in a stationary car with the windows closed, you should also never drive with an unsecured dog in the car and an open window.