THE RSPCA has called for Gladstone drivers to use commonsense when restraining dogs on ute trays.
This comes after the Observer witnessed an incident on Sunday when a driver illegally restrained two dogs to the back of his ute.
"It really comes down to commonsense," RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said.
"The dog isn't driving, so it can't see the road ahead and doesn't know when the driver is breaking."
The EEDI requires pet owners to restrain their dogs on ute trays with a tether or secure them in a cage.
If drivers do not follow these guidelines, they could be fined up to $2000 by Queensland Police. In cases where the animal's welfare is questioned, fines up to $30,000 and one year imprisonment can be imposed.
In March last year 230 dogs were impounded by Gladstone Regional Council, with more than 70 complaints made by the public about dogs roaming the streets.
Although these figures have decreased to 72 dogs impounded and 57 complaints in February this year , the RSPCA still insists the issue is a major concern.
"We'll release these warnings at certain times of the year, particularly on Facebook, to raise awareness of the issue," Mr Beatty said.
"People should ensure their dogs are securely tethered to the back of their ute," he said.
When Friends of RSPCA volunteer Nicole Allison saw photos of dogs illegally restrained in a ute tray, she was shocked.
"To be honest, it would be safer not to put a chain on them," Ms Allison said.
"If the dog were to slip off the back it would hang itself or be dragged along the road. The thought makes me sick."
Not chaining dogs to the centre of the tray, refraining from using a harness and using a long lead are just some mistakes drivers make when restraining their pets.
RSPCA statistics reveal about 5000 dogs each year are injured or killed in Australia as a result of falling from a moving vehicle.
Since the 1990s the RSPCA has been lobbying as part of a national campaign to improve animal welfare laws in response to the devastating statistics.
Pet owners are obliged to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their dog under the Animal Care and Protect Act 2001.
Maximum penalty: $30,000 fine or one year jail.
It is illegal to travel with an unsecured load on the back of your vehicle under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulation 1999. Unrestrained dogs can be considered as an - "unsecured load".
Maximum penalty: $2000 fine.