A pilot scheme in County Mayo in Ireland is encouraging drivers to belt up their pets.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo County Council’s road safety officer is warning of the potential threat posed by loose animals in a car.
He said: “Any passenger can be a distraction for a driver. We need people to belt up the whole family, including the pets.
“An unrestrained dog or cat in the car during can be a hazardous distraction to a driver. Even if your pet is well behaved in the car, you still have to consider your pet’s safety should another driver cause you to slam on your brakes or get into a collision.”
Mr Gibbons also points out that the emergency services often encounter angry, disorientated animals at crash scenes, which can delay medical attention.
Damien Feeney, a Mayo paramedic, said: “Maybe the dog escapes through a broken window and dashes into traffic, causing more collisions.
“Or maybe the dog, hurt and scared, gets protective of its owner and won’t permit the emergency workers into the vehicle to assist.”
As part of the campaign, Mayo’s road safety team has teamed up with the local Petworld stores to offer safety restraints at reduced prices.
For more information contact Noel Gibbons on 094 9047115.