Standards Australia has launched a world-first project to create a standard for seatbelt accessories, including pet seatbelts.

Research by the RSPCA shows that 5000 dogs are either injured or killed each year due to being improperly secured while in a moving car.

Adrian O’Connell, Standards Australia CEO, said an industry standard was essential to keeping motorists and their pets safe and secure.

“A national standard that supports manufacturers in the design and development of pet seatbelt accessories, along with a number of other specific-use seatbelt products, will provide much-needed guidance to support consumer confidence.”

The project, Seat Belts for Use in Motor Vehicles, will develop the world’s first standard for all seatbelt accessories used in motor vehicles.

“A national standard on seatbelt accessories will help prevent injury to motorists, passengers and thousands of pets that are unnecessarily injured every year as a result of not being properly restrained when travelling in cars.”

O’Connell said that the previous standard AS/NZS 8005:2013, Accessories for child restraints for use in motor vehicles didn’t go further than the need for child restraints, and that the new standard will be more wide-reaching.

“There are a wide range of seatbelt accessories currently available, from a ‘seat belt reacher’ which extends the handles of the belt reducing the need to twist your body, to accessories designed to extend the seatbelt underneath a pregnant person’s body, protecting them and their unborn child.”