Section 96 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 creates the offence of driving with uncorrected defective eyesight
The British Horse Society estimates that there are 3.5 million regular riders and nearly 1 million horses in the UK so most drivers will come across horses and riders on the roads at some point.
Knowing how to drive around horses is vital for keeping you and them safe.
Horses are large and powerful animals; they are also 'flight' animals which makes them unpredictable and easily scared.
If something like a speeding car or a barking dog frightens a horse, its natural reaction will be to get away from whatever scared it. This will be sudden and could take them straight into the road and the path of your car - even an experienced rider on a well-behaved horse will struggle to control a horse in this situation.
Country lanes are the most common place you will encounter horses. Given their size and power, a collision with a horse will endanger yourself and others in your car as well as the horse and its rider.
Responsible horse riders will try to avoid busy/fast roads and will make themselves stand out by wearing high-visibility clothing, but driving carefully, particularly around bends on narrow roads, will help you spot horses and riders in time and react safely.
Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly. Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider. Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard.
Rules 49 to 55 of the Highway Code give detailed advice to riders and include the following advice:
If you encounter a horsedrawn carriage on the road bear in mind that:
(6 June 2014)