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Securing dogs on utes might not be enough

Dogs must be secured on utes.
Dogs must be secured on utes. Lee Constable

A ROAD safety group has warned carrying dogs on the back of utes could be a serious safety hazard, especially during summer.

Road Accident Action Group co-ordinator Graeme Ransley said there was a hidden danger.

"Many people don't realise how hot their loading trays become during summer," he said.

"The cause of dogs jumping off the back of utes is very often the heat of the loading tray.

"The heat of the tray is extremely excessive on the animal's feet."

Mr Ransley said he hadn't realised what the problem was until he saw it in public.

"In 2012 around Christmas I was walking past a ute parked in the city with a blue heeler secured in the tray," he said.

"The dog was very obviously in a great deal of stress.

"I put my hand in the rear of the steel tray and was instantly burnt, the tray would have been 60C or more, certainly too hot to touch."

Mr Ransley said loading trays were basically a hot BBQ plate during summer.

"Just because the vehicle is moving doesn't mean the tray cools down," he said.

"That is also the reason you often see dogs moving constantly in utes.

"They can't lie down because it's even hotter."

Mr Ransley said the issue was a serious safety concern.

"When they jump off they can injure themselves," he said.

"It is also a danger to other road users taking evasive action to miss an animal on the road."

Mr Ransley said the solution was simple.

"A cage with a roof and insulated floor is the best option," he said.

Topics:  dog road safety summer ute



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