Original article from Kent Live
Drivers across Kent and the UK could be slapped with a £200 fine for travelling with their pet dogs in scorching hot weather this week.
Experts have warned dogs could become a distraction on the road as they become restless due to the heat.
Meanwhile, they warned over the risks to visibility if dogs panting caused the windows to steam up.
A spokesperson for Lookers Motor Group said there were “several important considerations” drivers had to make to avoid being hit with penalties.
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
They said: “With more people than even buying pets, we are keen to ensure that drivers know how to safely transport dogs in cars.
“There are several important considerations to be aware of to keep both drivers and pets safe.
“Especially if people are planning staycations within the UK during the summer months.”
Keep windows clear
Experts at Lookers have warned tired and thirsty dogs could create a massive visibility problem for drivers on the road.
After an energetic walk in hot weather, your dog’s panting can lead to your car windows becoming particularly steamy.
If your dog is sitting in the front of the car or in the boot this could cause your front or rear windscreens to become steamy.
However, Rule 229 of the HIghway Code required drivers to be able to see out of all windows at all times.
Failure to comply with this rule is likely to see road users fined up to £200 or be hit with points on their licence for dangerous driving.
Secure your dog
The hot temperatures inside a car are likely to make your pet dog restless on a journey.
This means it is more important than ever to make sure they are properly restrained for their own safety and yours as the driver.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code says dogs must be suitably restrained while they are in the vehicle.
Breaking this could see drivers be hit with between three and nine penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine.
Meanwhile, many car insurance firms require your pet to be secured at all times meaning you risk invalidating your cover if this is not done correctly.
Experts at Lookers urge drivers to consider purchasing a travel carrier or crate to keep their pet secure in one area.
A harness that attaches to the seat belt of the car is also a possibility, as this will stop your dog from roaming freely around the vehicle.
Finally, a boot crate could also be used to stop your dog from climbing over to the rear passenger seats.
Lookers adds drivers should never let their pet hang their head out of the window even on a hot day.
They warn this could result in serious injury and perhaps even death as dogs are unlikely to know what could be approaching.