Ignorance isn’t bliss in the eyes of the law, and it certainly pays to know what you can and can’t do out on the road.
Despite 63% of drivers claiming they would be prepared if they broke down, there are some little known motorway rules that could catch you out.
The Highway Code states, for example, that pets must be kept inside the vehicle at all times – including in a breakdown situation on the motorway.
A staggering 71% of motorists said they would make the mistake of taking their pet out of the car in if they were forced to pull over, according to research from Volkswagen Financial Services.
Most people are aware that during an unexpected breakdown, they should promptly move to the hard shoulder or off the road if they can, exit their vehicle, and seek refuge in a safe location away from the road before seeking assistance.
But for pet-loving Brits taking their beloved animals on a summer staycation, falling victim to the common mistake of removing them from the vehicle in a breakdown situation could put them in breach of rules 277 and 278 of the Highway Code, with charges of this nature coming with a fine of £1,000 and penalty points.
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According to the Highway Code, pets must be kept inside the vehicle unless in an emergency as a precautionary measure to prevent them from becoming loose and causing a potential accident on the motorway.
Mike Todd, CEO at Volkswagen Financial Services UK, said: “Brits are renowned for being a nation of pet lovers, often treating their cherished companions as a part of the family.
“It therefore comes as no surprise that many feel an understandable reluctance to leave their dogs unattended in a vehicle, while seeking a safe place in a breakdown situation.
“By raising awareness about the importance of following the guidelines of the Highway Code, we can help pet owners safeguard their four-legged friends, protect fellow road users, and avoid costly penalties as we travel to staycations this summer.”
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