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Requirements to stop and report road traffic collisions involving cats to be debated by MPs

4 January 2023

On Monday 9 January, MPs will debate a petition relating to requirements to stop and report road traffic collisions involving cats.

Tonia Antoniazzi MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a minister to respond.

Requirements to stop and report road traffic collisions involving cats

The petition, which has more than 102,000 signatures, states: “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.”

In its response to the petition, provided on 22 February 2022, the Government said: “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.”

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 MPs will not vote to decide on including cats in the Road Traffic Act at the end of the debate.

Further information

Image: Geograph