28 October 2021

Drivers asked to rein in their speed and take care around horse-riders

| Katrina Condie
Start the conversation

While most horse-riders prefer the bush, drivers need to be aware of them on country roads. Photo: Belinda Morris.

A new road campaign is reminding drivers to rein in their speed and take care around horse riders on country roads.

Over the past 10 years, there have been nine fatalities involving a ridden horse. There have also been 54 casualty crashes involving a riderless horse being struck by a vehicle, resulting in the deaths of two people and serious injuries to 15 others.

As part of the new campaign, drivers are being urged to brush up on some of the lesser-known road rules about driving near horses to keep motorists, horses and their riders safe on country roads.

Riders and horse-drawn vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, motorcycle riders and cyclists when using the road.

NSW Country Women’s Association (CWA) president Stephanie Stanhope said an incident earlier this year, which saw a rider injured and a horse euthanized after being hit by a vehicle, served as a reminder to keep up-to-date with the road rules.

READ ALSO Entering the ‘nightmare-ish’ world of the horse owner

“We are seeing too many close calls and often these animals are a major part of a rider’s livelihood, so we ask that motorists are respectful when sharing the road with horse-riders and horse-drawn vehicles to avoid any unfortunate incidents,” Ms Stanhope said.

“Riders should also be aware of their surroundings, including traffic, pedestrians, road surfaces and changing weather conditions, and, if possible, ride during daylight hours.

“It is also good practice to avoid tight corners or crests and instead ride on roads where motorists have a good line of sight, and the wearing of high visibility or bright-coloured clothing and a helmet that meets Australian standards is strongly recommended.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole says horses and other livestock aren’t uncommon on roads in the bush.

“This campaign reminds everyone to share the road safely,” he said.

READ ALSO 30 km/h speed limit on Moruya streets a South Coast first

“Drivers should slow down and allow plenty of room when passing a horse, whether it’s being ridden, led or pulling a vehicle.

“Horses are easily spooked and can be unpredictable, so don’t use your horn or rev your engine.

“Horses are considered a vehicle on the road, so riders need to obey the road rules, ride on the left-hand side in the same direction as traffic, avoid tight corners or crests and try to keep a good line of sight.”

Horse-riders can ride on any road, unless a sign says they must not.

They can ride two abreast as long as they’re within 1.5 metres of each other.

Original Article published by Katrina Condie on About Regional.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.