Animals and vehicles

There are things you should know about travelling with animals in vehicles and what to do following an incident with an animal.

Animal welfare

Every year many crashes involving animals occur on country roads. If you see an animal on the road (alive or dead), do not swerve violently to avoid the animal as this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or to hit oncoming traffic. You should stop if you can do so safely or slow down and steer around the animal in a controlled manner.

If you can’t avoid the animal safely you may have to hit it to avoid injury or death to yourself and others.

If the animal has been killed, remove it from the road if it is safe to do so. Be careful with native animals as they may have babies in their pouches.

If a native animal has been hurt you should contact the Wildlife and Information Rescue Service (WIRES) or use the IFAW Wildlife rescue app to find a suitable wildlife rescue organisation for your location.

If the animal is a domestic pet, you must contact the owner, Police or the RSPCA. If the animal is injured you should take it immediately to the nearest animal shelter or vet.

Rules around animals

A driver, motorcycle rider, bicycle rider or passenger must not lead an animal, including by tethering, while the vehicle is moving. Animals should be seated or housed in appropriate areas.

A driver must not drive with an animal in their lap.

A motorcycle rider must not ride with an animal between the handlebars and the rider.

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