When you are pulled over by a traffic officer and fined because your dog is seated next to you on the passenger seat of your car, the first instinct is to look around for hidden cameras, thinking that you may be part of a Leon Schuster prank.
No such luck for Vanderbijlpark resident Santie Venter, who was recently fined R1,000 for her pooch occupying the seat next to her, reports Vaal Weekblad.
Santie was speechless when she saw clearly marked on the fine: “No pets allowed on public road.”
In shock, she took to Facebook to ask whether such a law exists, and soon established that it does not.
After making inquiries, the public prosecutor confirmed to her that such a law does not exist, and the fine was immediately cancelled.
It seems like a funny story now, but it has since instilled doubt in the minds of residents as to how qualified traffic officials are, and if the fines they issue are just made up on the spot.
It is also a slap in the face for officials who do their jobs properly.
Although it is not illegal to travel with your dog, for the safety of your furbaby, it is better to have them sit in the backseat, preferably behind the passenger seat, if possible.
Sitting in the front of the car or on the owner’s lap is a risk because if an accident occurs and airbags are deployed, it is likely this will lead to the dog’s death. The same principle applies to small children travelling in the backseat – they travel with safety belts and booster seats – so caution should still be exercised with pets.
This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder