30th September 2023 – (Šterusy) Police in Slovakia have issued a fine to a car owner after a speed camera photograph seemingly showed a dog behind the wheel. The vehicle was recorded exceeding the speed limit by 11km (6.8 miles) per hour in the village of Šterusy, located in western Slovakia.
According to an English translation of the Slovakian police’s Facebook post, the image captured by the speed camera appears to reveal a brown dog “sitting obediently behind the wheel of a Škoda.”
The 31-year-old owner claimed that his dog had unexpectedly jumped onto his lap, causing the unusual sight. However, police officers disputed this explanation, stating that there was no evidence of sudden movement in the car. Consequently, they fined the man for violating traffic regulations, although the exact amount of the fine remains undisclosed.
Despite the incident, the police seemed to have a lighthearted approach, engaging in a mock conversation with the dog about the consequences of speeding. This playful exchange may have lost some of its charm in the process of translation.
Police authorities emphasized the importance of securing pets properly while travelling, as even small animals can pose a risk to vehicle safety. In a 2019 study by Volvo Car USA, it was found that drivers who did not restrain their dogs in cars were significantly more prone to distractions caused by their pets’ behaviour. The study revealed a 137 per cent increase in “unsafe driving behaviours” that diverted drivers’ attention from the road when dogs were not securely restrained, rising from 274 incidents to 649.