Closed petition Make it a legal requirement for drivers to stop & report collisions with cats

Amend legislation to make it a legal requirement for a driver to stop & report accidents involving cats.

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The impact on a persons' mental health when their cat is hit by a car can be profound and devastating, and cat owners should be entitled to the same due process afforded to dog owners.

Under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a driver is required to stop & report accidents involving specific animals including dogs, but not cats. This requirement arises from their status as working animals rather than as domestic pets, but many dogs are pets, not working animals.

Motorists should be required to report collisions with cats in the same way as collisions with dogs, so that the cat's owners can be informed. Many cat owners feel excluded by the law.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 9 January 2023

Watch the petition 'Make it a legal requirement for drivers to stop & report collisions with cats' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 22 February 2022

The Government has no plans to make it an offence to drive off after hitting a cat. A focus for this Government is to make roads safer for all users, which will in turn reduce the risk to all animals.

Under section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a driver is required to stop and report an accident involving specified animals including horses, cattle, asses, mules, sheep, pigs, goats or dogs, but not cats or wild animals. This requirement arises from their status as working animals rather than as domestic pets. To introduce such a measure within the provision of section 170 would require primary legislation.

Having a law making it a requirement to report road accidents involving cats would be very difficult to enforce and we have reservations about the difference it would make to the behaviour of drivers, who are aware that they have run over a cat and do not report it.

Although there is no obligation to report all animal deaths on roads, Rule 286 of The Highway Code advises drivers to report any accident involving an animal to the police, and if possible, they should make enquiries to ascertain the owner of domestic animals and advise them of the situation.

The Government recognises how distressing it can be for someone to lose a pet, especially without knowing what has happened. We committed in our Manifesto, and reaffirmed in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare, to introducing compulsory cat microchipping and plan to introduce the necessary legislation this year. We understand that the vast majority of local authorities now have arrangements in place to scan dead cats and dogs found by them and we will continue working with them and other stakeholders to develop and promote best practice in this area.

Department for Transport

Other parliamentary business

Share your views on whether drivers should have to report collisions with cats

The MPs on the Petitions Committee have scheduled a debate on a petition calling for cats to be included in Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which you have signed. The change requested by this petition would mean that drivers would be legally required to report a collision with a cat to the police, as is currently the case for dogs.

Share your views

Martyn Day MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked to open the debate. To inform the debate, he would like to hear your views on this issue, including your experiences if you have lost a cat in a road traffic accident. He'd like to know whether the proposed changes could have lessened the impact of losing your cat.

You can share your views with Martyn by completing this survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MNMMVV/

The survey will close on 7 November at 4.30pm.

Your responses will be anonymous. A summary of responses will be published on the Committee's website, and may be shared with MPs and your responses may be quoted directly during the debate.

Watch the debate

The debate will be held on Monday 28 November at 4.30pm.

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Debate on requirements to stop and report road traffic collisions involving cats postponed

The debate on the petition to require drivers to stop and report traffic collisions involving cats has been postponed. It was previously scheduled for Monday 28 November.

We will let you know as soon as we have rescheduled this debate, and share links to watch the debate or read the transcript after.

Debate rescheduled: requirements to stop and report road traffic collisions involving cats

The debate on the petition you signed, "Make it a legal requirement for drivers to stop & report collisions with cats", has been rescheduled and will now take place on Monday 9 January at 4.30pm.

You'll be able to watch the debate online on the UK Parliament YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@ukparliament

A transcript of the debate will be published here a few hours after the debate ends: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2023-01-09

The debate will take place in Westminster Hall. Find out more about Westminster Hall debates: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/westminster-hall-debates/

MPs debate requirements to report road traffic collisions involving cats

The Petitions Committee scheduled a debate in the House of Commons on the petition you signed. This took place on Monday 9 January 2023. A member of the Committee, Tonia Antoniazzi MP, opened the debate.

Read a summary of what was said, watch the debate and access other relevant material:

Road traffic collisions involving cats

This includes results from a survey we conducted to ask people who signed this petition about their views on requiring drivers to report a collision to the police if it involves a cat.

What are petitions debates?

Petitions debates are ‘general’ debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions and put their concerns to Government Ministers.

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means that MPs will not vote on changing indefinite leave to remain fees at the end of the debate.

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