31 March 2016
BBC Breakfast has recently reported on guidance recently issued by the British Horse Society for drivers who encounter horses being ridden on the road.
The Society says that there have been over 2,000 reports of road incidents involving horses reported to them in the last five years, with 36 rider deaths and 181 horse deaths. Their guidance (the “Dead Slow Campaign”) makes three simple recommendations to drivers:
- Slow down to 15mph when you see a horse in the road;
- Pass with plenty of room;
- Drive away slowly.
This guidance summarises The Highway Code - rule 214 simply states:
“When passing animals, drive slowly. Give them plenty of room and be ready to stop. Do not scare animals by sounding your horn, revving your engine or accelerating rapidly once you have passed them. Look out for animals being led, driven or ridden on the road and take extra care. Keep your speed down at bends and on narrow country roads. If a road is blocked by a herd of animals, stop and switch off your engine until they have left the road. Watch out for animals on unfenced roads.”
Failure to drive in accordance with the Highway Code might constitute negligence on the part to of the driver, which may entitle someone who is injured as a result of their actions to claim compensation.