Attention All Road Users-Horses and The Law

***Attention ALL road users***

Imagine this…. You’re driving to work and you’re running a bit late so you take a short cut down a side street or country road. You are going quite fast and you notice a horse and rider up ahead. The road is fairly straight and you can see there are no oncoming vehicles so you only slow down slightly in preparation to pass.

As you approach the horse suddenly side steps/jumps into the middle of the road, you’re going to fast, you slam on your breaks but it’s not enough, you close your eyes and hope for the best, you hear terrible crashing sounds and breaking glass then….. silence. Are you still alive? Did the horse and rider survive? You have a lot more protection than them and you can feel that you’re injured. Now you’re going to be really late for work, if you even get there. You could lose your driving licence, maybe face jail time for death by dangerous driving.

A horse is an animal with its own instincts and reactions. A horse is a flight animal that WILL run from anything it perceives as a danger/predator. Horses were our mode of transport long before cars were even imaginable. The horse in the above scenario could have spooked for a number of reasons; a pheasant bursting out of the hedge line, suddenly noticing an animal or farm machinery in a field, a farmer or hunter shooting a rifle, a low flying aircraft, even the sound and vibrations from the car approaching too fast.

It’s not practical to expect all horse riders to stay off the roads and quite frankly that’s a very selfish and childish attitude to have, after all they were on the roads long before your car/van/motorcycle/truck was. If you encounter a horse and rider while out driving please be cautious and courteous and pass wide and slow when it’s safe to do so. Please also pay attention to the rider and any hand signals they make as they can usually see more than you can. Take a moment while you relax at home to look up a horse riders hand signals and what they are telling/asking other road users to do. Also imagine that it’s your child or a family member on the back of that large, strong animal. It could save a life and that life could be yours.


You don’t want a horse stuck in your windscreen repeatedly kicking you in the face either.

Also By QLD GOV law at least – vehicle drivers must stop at the side of the road and turn off their motor if a horse rider signals that their horse is jumpy or agitated. The horse rider can signal to the driver by raising a hand and pointing to the horse. The driver must not move the vehicle until the noise of the motor, or the movement of the vehicle, won’t aggravate the horse….so I’m guessing it’s still illegal to hit a horse with a car…again in QLD anyway.

That is for those who don’t care about the animal as they will care about the possible charges, fines and insurance issues.

Roxy Clark

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: