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Can you be charged for driving with pets?

Is there any legal requirement that pets be restrained in moving motor vehicles? Eric Lai answers.

By Wheels Wheels.ca

Jun 27, 2011 1 min. read

Article was updated 11 years ago

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Eric Lai answers readers’ auto questions every week for Wheels.

Q: I often see drivers with a dog in their lap and wonder if this is safe. Is there any legal requirement that pets be restrained in moving motor vehicles?

A: Ontario Transportation Ministry spokesperson Bob Nichols advises that there is no specific requirement under the Highway Traffic Act for pets to be belted or restrained in motor vehicles.

However, if a pet is interfering with the driver’s safe control of the automobile, the motorist may be charged with “crowding the driver’s seat” under section 162 HTA and/or “careless driving” under section 130 HTA.

If a collision resulting in serious injury or death occurs, criminal charges could apply.

More: Five common traffic offences you might not know

More: Can you be charged for driving with ‘faded plates’?
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