WELCOME TO internet stardom, Sweets the dog. This YouTube video of the English Bulldog riding on the petrol tank of her owner’s motorcycle, apparently waving at an oncoming biker as they pass, is sure to catapult her into the elite of animals that have found fame on the web.
In fact, Christine Sutton, the owner, has been posting video of Sweets riding on her motorbike for more than a year, with her first biker wave video being uploaded on June 22, 2013.
However this new film shows that Sweets has taken to waving at other bikers of her own accord. The deliberately short length of the clip and the rock soundtrack are sure to help the video go viral.
For those wondering if this is legal or safe, in the UK the Highway Code states:
When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.
In other words, there are no specific offences relating to carrying a dog. However, there have been cases where police have stopped riders carrying dogs under suspicion of dangerous driving, and there is a risk of a charge if the officer believes you are endangering yourself and other road users.
Nick Freeman, a solicitor who runs a legal practice in Manchester specialising in road traffic law, strongly advises against riding a motorbike with a dog on board. “This is a hair brained idea,” he told Driving. “The video says it all; can you imagine if the dog saw a cat on the opposite pavement and decided to go after it? You would be criminally and civilly liable for your dog’s presence, conduct and actions, and the consequences.”
Nick Freeman is an expert contributor to our Car Clinic section. Read more from him here.