Unrestrained pets a lap full of trouble

HEAD off on a trip in the car with your four-legged best mate on your lap and it could land you a fine and loss of demerit points.

With summer holidays here Orange police have urged people to use a restraint on their pets during any trip in the car.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Sergeant Luke Blissett said in a car accident an unrestrained dog can cause serious injury to people and itself.

“It becomes a missile and if it hits you in the back of the head it’s like a brick,” he said.

If a motorist is caught with an unrestrained dog on their lap while driving they will receive a $405 fine and the loss of three demerit points.

If the act occurs in a school zone the fine is $506.

A $200 fine also applies for people who carry an unrestrained dog on the rear of their ute while travelling on a street.

Sergeant Blissett said the risk of injury or death was easy to avoid with a restraint.

“Cats [should be] in cat cages and dogs restrained by some sort of collar system attached to the seatbelt,” he said.

“It’s extremely dangerous to have anything [pet] unrestrained on a parcel shelf.”

Summer Street Veterinary Clinic’s Maddie Brown said a dog harness was a cost-effective way to keep you, your family and your dog safe during any trip in the car.

There is an exemption for people travelling on farms to carry dogs unrestrained on the rear of their ute.

nadine.morton@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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