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