Video footage captures driver with dog in front seat of vehicle

Dog spotted in driver's seat

Kelowna RCMP have called one motorist's decision to let a dog sit in the driver's seat of the moving vehicle reckless and dangerous - to the driver, to other motorists and to the dog itself. 

Video footage of a vehicle travelling on Hwy. 97 near Spall Rd. on Sunday afternoon shows a small white dog in the driver's seat with its legs out the window, blocking the driver's side mirror. 

It's also unclear whether the dog was wearing a leash or other safety restraint to prevent it from falling out or being injured in the event of a sudden stop. 

Kelowna RCMP Sgt. Mark Booth says the incident would warrant a distracted driving ticket.

"It is definitely illegal and dangerous. There are two different charges that could be issued by an RCMP officer."

Drivers can be ticketed $368 for driving without due care and attention, which carries with it six penalty points, or receive a $109 ticket for driving while control is obstructed. 

In early March, a small dog had a lucky escape from harm after falling out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna.

BC SPCA regional manager for cruelty investigations Brian Kijowski says although owners never intend for such incidents to happen, it is important to keep the safety of both the pet and the driver in mind.

"An unsecured pet is actually a hazard and a distraction for the driver or other people inside the vehicle. You'll see sometimes that most people will roll the window down and let the dog or their pet stick their head out the window. That's nice for the breeze, but it could cause eye injury or it could result in them falling out."

If you witness an animal falling out of a vehicle, dial 911 immediately to report the incident in as much detail as possible to assist with any RCMP or SPCA investigation. 

If you witness a motorist driving illegally with an animal in the front seat, please contact Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.

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