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Behind The Wheel

Pets and air bags

Our lap dog loves to go for car rides! She's generous too because you are more than welcome to sit underneath her in the right front seat. The trouble is, this is definitely not a good place for her to ride in the car.

Hopefully we've learned that airbags and children don't go together, but have we stopped to consider our pets? Air bags are designed to restrain large people and will do significant damage to a pet, perhaps to the point of killing them outright. They will also be thrown around the interior of the vehicle like a projectile, unless something stops them.

That something stopping your pet might be you or a member of your family. Remember that airbags deploy at speeds reaching 200 MPH. Now imagine how much it will hurt when that pet smashes into you. That's not a pretty picture, is it?

The best place for your pet is the same as for your child, the center of the rear seat away from front and side airbags. You can even choose to restrain your pet with the equivalent of seat belts. As a responsible pet owner, you have to make the choice.

The author is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. To comment or learn more, please visit

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About the author...

Tim Schewe has been writing his column for most of the 20 years in his traffic enforcement service in the RCMP. It was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and now Schewe retired from the Force in January of 2006, but the column became a habit and continues.

E-mail him your questions or concerns: [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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