No dog seatbelt law plans - Department

ISPCA warns motorists over dangers from large unrestrained pets in cars

Wed, Apr 3, 2013, 12:09

There are no plans for laws on compulsory seatbelts for canine passengers , the Department of Transport confirmed this morning in response to media reports on the matter. However the Department said it has sent a query on legislation for animal restraints to the Road Safety Authority for its views.

'This issue was raised by a member of the public with the Department, and the Department forwarded the query on to the RSA for its views on that basis,” it said in a statement.

“There are no plans to legislate for the matter,” it said. “Official road safety advice is that any unrestrained object, whether animate or inanimate, in a vehicle can inflict damage during a collision.”

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said it would support the introduction of such legislation.

There was particular danger with a big dog not being restrained in a car both from a safety and animal welfare point of view, ISPCA chief executive Noel Griffin said today.

The issue was raised after a member of the public posed a question on animal restraint to Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar on website Dailwatch.ie.

In his reply on December 20th last Mr Varadkar said it was the “first occasion on which this question has been raised from a road safety perspective”.

“Road traffic legislation is continuously being reviewed and updated. With that in mind my Department will consult the Road Safety Authority on the matter in due course,” Mr Varadkar wrote in his reply.

Last year the US state of New Jersey introduced legislation to fine drivers who do not restrain their dogs.

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