• It is illegal for drivers to refuse service to a passenger with their assistance animal. Drivers who refuse a passenger with an assistance animal may face enforcement action including suspension or cancellation of their accreditation, a fine or prosecution.
  • Some assistance animals wear identification, but others do not. As long as they’re trained to help a person alleviate their disability, they’re considered an assistance animal.
  • Assistance animals come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds.
  • Assistance animals are not pets, but working dogs there to support their handler. This means they are allowed in ALL CPVs, and are not limited to ‘Uber Pet’.
  • Assistance animals go through rigorous safety and relationship training, meaning they will not bite, lick or jump on you.

What do assistance animals do?

Assistance animals are specially trained to help people living with a disability, from vision impairment to epilepsy or even diabetes. Find out more about these amazing animals:

  • Assistance animals come in all different shapes, sizes, and breeds
  • Some assistance animals wear a jacket or badge to identify them as working animals, but not all of them do
  • Assistance animals go through rigorous safety and relationship training from when they are very young
  • They are clean and trained to be quiet, well-behaved and obedient at all times
  • Their extensive training means they will not bite, lick or jump on you
  • Legally, an assistance animal can go anywhere to support their handler

Assistance animals in CPVs.

Some drivers assume assistance animals are unclean or dirty.

Some drivers claim they have a dog allergy. Other drivers choose not to allow a dog in their car for personal reasons.

However, in Victoria, as in many places around the world, the law is clear: drivers are required to transport assistance animals along with their owners. Refusal on the grounds of any of the reasons above is not permissible or legal.

Drivers who refuse a passenger with an assistance animal may face enforcement action including suspension or cancellation of their accreditation, a fine or prosecution.

Here some of the stories here:

What can you do to make journeys for passengers with assistance animals better?

DO

  • Ask the passenger if they need assistance before helping them, and walk slowly to guide them to the vehicle door.
  • If you are afraid of dogs – you can say so! The passenger will often face the dog away from you to make you feel more comfortable.
  • The dog should never misbehave, but if a disruption is caused please discuss the issue with the owner.
  • Worried about dog hair? You can keep a towel or sheet to cover the seat in your boot.
  • If the dog is not wearing any identification, you’re able to ask how the animal assists them in their everyday life.
  • The passenger should determine where the dog sits, but it is most common for the animal to sit in the footwell. Offer to slide the front passenger seat forward to make extra room.

DON’T 

  • Don’t make eye contact with the dog. Dogs don’t like to be stared at!
  • Do not pet or feed dog guides, as they need to remain focused at all times.
  • Make sure to speak to your passenger, not the dog.

 

Hear from passengers with assistance animals