This simple pet rule could see motorists break the law and fined up to £2,500 

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The Highway Code says road users must leave any animals inside their vehicle during an emergency such as when your car has broken down. This is because removing an animal from the car could distract other motorists travelling on the road.

Animals are unpredictable and could jump forward towards the live road or motorway in a safety risk which could put other road users in danger.

According to All Car Leasing, failing to comply with the law could see road users issued fines of up to £2,500 and six penalty points on a driving licence.

Rule 56 of the Highway Code says dogs should not be let out onto the road by itself and should be kept on a short lead while walking on the pavement or road.

In a statement, the group said: “You’re actually supposed to leave your pets inside your car, unless it is not safe to do so.

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This simple pet rule could see motorists break the law and fined up to £2,500 

This one pet rule could see motorists fined (Image: Getty)

“The reason you should leave your dog inside your car is to ensure that they don’t distract other drivers.

“Even on a leash, if your dog were to get overly excited and run towards a live motorway lane motorists may briefly panic and make a manoeuvre in that split second.”

Animals can be removed from the car if they are relaxed and can be placed away from the road surface.

However, experts do not advise placing animals too close to the road as this could frighten them and cause them to become uneasy.

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Breaking down with a pet could lead to further issues for motorists as some recovery firms may not allow pets to tag along with their owners.

According to the comparison site, Go Compare, transport of the animal to a destination is likely to be at the discretion of the recovery driver.

They warn standard cover is unlikely to allow the transportation of livestock such as sheep or horses which could prove difficult for some motorists.

Experts say road users should always have a contingency plan in case a breakdown provider does not allow the pet to travel.

Motorists could also be hit with a £5,000 fine and even invalidate their car insurance by failing to correctly restrain their pets.

Police are entitled to issue a £1,000 to motorists if they are caught driving without proper control through being distracted by an animal.

Total bills could rise to £5,000 and nine penalty points could be issued in severe cases of dangerous driving.

Rule 57 of the Highway Code says dogs and other animals should be restrained so they cannot distract motorists while they are driving.

The Code says a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are the best ways to retrain then animals while they are inside the vehicle.

Analysis from Dogs Trust found 2.5million people are unaware that are breaking the law by not properly restraining a pet inside a car.

Their research revealed 44 percent of owners did not restrain their dogs during a car journey as a quarter admitted to finding their pets a distraction while behind the wheel.

Analysis from Confused.com revealed more than half of road users polled were not aware that failing to return a pet could invalidate a policy.

Car insurance agreements could be axed because insurance providers may claim the animal has distracted your attention away from the road.

Money Super Market spokeswoman, Rachel Wait said: “If you’re in a prang with an unrestrained pet in your car, insurers may use it against you – regardless of whether it was as a direct result of the animal itself – so it’s worth being on the safe side and making sure ‘man’s best friend’ is properly restrained.”


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