The long list of measures in favour of our four-legged friends continues, also as regards to the behaviour to be taken on the streets. In 2011, in fact, the Highway Code was updated with a fundamental paragraph, which obliges anyone who causes an accident against a dog or cat to give assistance.
The legislation in question is art. 189 on the subject of "Behaviour in the event of an accident", revised several times over the years. In particular, the most important change regarding animals was made in 2010 (Therefore several years ago). The introduction of paragraph 9-bis, mentions that: "the road user, in the event of an accident in any case attributable to his behaviour, which results in damage to one or more pets, income or protected, has the obligation to stop and implement any suitable measure to ensure a timely rescue intervention to the animals that have suffered the damage. Anyone who does not comply with the obligations referred to in the previous period is punished with the administrative sanction of paying a sum of € 410 to € 1,643. ".
But that's not all. The regulation, in fact, includes not only the direct person responsible for the accident, but also all the people possibly involved. Specifically, we speak of the "[...] people involved in an accident with damage to one or more pets, income or protected animals must implement all appropriate measures to ensure a timely first aid.". Again, the penalty is a fine that can range from 82 to 328 euros.
However, the provision, included in the Highway Code, which prohibits car drivers from stopping on the highway to provide assistance to animals struck or abandoned remains unchanged. Indeed, such a gesture could put your own safety and that of other drivers at risk. In these cases, we can contact 112 and report the emergency to the Traffic Police, trying to provide a precise reference to the place of the accident or sighting. You can find more information by reading the specific article on what to do when you find an injured or abandoned animal.
Another change, always introduced in recent years, concerns art. 177 paragraph 1 of the Highway Code, which - just as it happens for us - veterinary ambulances, zoophilic guards and rescue vehicles for the recovery of animals can safely use sirens and flashing lights to facilitate operations.
Probably, considering above all that we are talking about a not quite recent decree, not enough has been done yet to try to protect the numerous dogs and cats that are involved in tragic accidents every day, in particular along the roads with greater sliding speed. Although the law is now on the side of animals, the number of people who do not comply with the regulations in their favour is still very high, as we can see daily with our own eyes.
In any case, over the years, more and more regulations are evolving in favour of our four-legged friends, both as regards to the measures against mistreatment and abandonment, and as regards - as in this case – to the duty to provide assistance in the event of an accident. At this point, therefore, we just have to wait to add some more pieces to be able to speak in all respects of animal protection.