Changes to the Highway Code secure safer horse riding on roads, with amendment set to be enforced in January 2022.
In the new version of the Highway Code there will be a “hierarchy of road users”. The hierarchy will be based on the principle that those who have the ability to cause the greatest harm, have the greatest responsibility.
Changes to the Highway Code include pedestrians, highlighting children and the elderly, at the top of the hierarchy. This will be followed by cyclist and horse rider, with HGV’s and buses coming at the bottom of the pyramid.
The hierarchy is also applicable at junctions. Drivers will be expected to allow horse riders and others, to approach and cross a junction, whilst they wait in a safe space.
Distances for passing horses have also been set as well as overtaking speeds. A clearance of 2m for pedestrians and horses, at a maximum speed of 15mph has been outlined. If this clearance is not possible, the driver will have to wait until it is.
The changes to the Highway Code mean in the case of an accident, it may be clearer who’s at fault. There are no new offences under the guidance.
Further Highway Code guidance for equestrians includes ensure all tack fits well and is in good condition. Riding without a saddle and bridle is not advised. Further, before considering taking a horse on the road, ensuring the rider can control the horse is essential, also outlined by the Code. Taking the BHS Ride Safe award is recommended for those who are inexperienced or have not ridden in a while.
Full proposed changes can be viewed at www.gov.uk