28 July, 2022
Motorists reminded of laws for horses
POLICE are reminding motorists of a little-known law that requires them to stop their vehicle if a horse gets agitated.
Queensland is one of the few States where road rules apply to interactions between horse riders and drivers.
When a driver encounters an agitated horse near a roadway, they need to be focused on the animal as oncoming cars can make horses shy, buck, throw the rider or jump towards the car.
If driving near a horse, motorists should watch to see if the rider signals that their horse is jumpy or agitated, which is usually indicated by the rider signalling to the driver by raising a hand and pointing to the horse.
Horses may also show signs of agitation which can be as subtle as standing still with head held high and ears pricked to odd, restless movements.
They may start to “dance” or prance about or start moving sideways either away from, but sometimes towards, the road.
If the driver of the vehicle witnesses any of this or sees the rider signal to them, they must stop the vehicle away from the horse at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
“It’s for the rider’s safety, the horse’s safety, and yours,” a police spokesperson said.
According to the State road rules, a driver must not move until they are sure their vehicle’s engine, or its movement will not aggravate the horse.
Disobeying the rule could leave drivers with a fine.
For more awareness among drivers of the road rules surrounding agitated horses, go to www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/ other/animals