Did you know it was illegal? The road rule that could cost you $561

Did you know it was illegal? The road rule that could cost you $561

A dog-loving driver has been hit with four demerit points and fined more than $500 for having a dog on her lap while she was behind the wheel driving her car.

The Sydney driver was driving through Glenwood on Tuesday morning when Quakers Hill Highway Patrol spotted a small dog on her lap.

The officers then intercepted the driver and issued a traffic infringement notice for the “offence of driving motor vehicle with animal in lap” in a school zone.

Police said while the driver claimed the dog “jumped on me”, she was still fined $561 and lost four demerit points.

Another NSW driver was slapped with a $448 fine for having his dog on his lap while driving. 

“Driving with an animal on your lap is extremely dangerous and can interfere with the driver’s ability to control the vehicle," explained on a spokesperson on the Traffic Highway Patrol Command Facebook page.

Many people were quick to comment, admitting on the Facebook post they didn't know it was illegal.

“I never knew that was illegal, glad I read this,” one wrote.

“Does this even mean if they have a harness on and a short lead that is still a no?” another asked.

According to regulation 297 of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW), drivers are prohibited from driving with a person or an animal on their lap. 

Motorists who are caught driving with a pet on their lap may attract an on-the-spot fine of $448 and three demerit points, or $561 and four demerit points if they are in a school zone. 

Driving with a pet on one’s lap is illegal across Australia, with varying fines and demerit points between states and territories. 

Animals have to be seated and housed in an appropriate area of the vehicle.