Protection proposed for cats in road accidents

Updated: May 1, 2021

The Minister for Infrastructure has proposed a number of changes to road traffic regulations, including the requirement for drivers to report a road accident involving a cat.

If the changes are agreed by the States later this year, a motorist who injures or kills a cat would have to stop their vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so, then contact the owner of the cat or the JSPCA. Failure to report it would become an offence, in the same way a failure to report other accidents involving domestic animals.

Currently, a driver's duty to report an accident applies to incidents involving horses, cattle, asses, mule, sheep, pigs, goats or dogs.

Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, said: "If agreed, Jersey could be the first place in the British Isles to give cats this type of protection within the Road Traffic Law. I know this is a move that would be most welcome to many Islanders.

"These proposed changes to the regulations will help ensure cats get the chance to be seen by a vet after an accident and will also provide a register to assist families looking for their missing pets."

Alongside the greater protection for cats, the opportunity has also been taken to update and simplify parts of the law relating to other kinds of accidents on the Island's roads. Among the proposed changes, drivers would no longer always need to report a crash to the Police but would be required to give details to a person at the scene.

Additionally, changes would also be made to the regulations on what is commonly referred to as 'failing to stop', to closely reflect the UK's laws.