The New Highway Code: How it Affects You and Your Horse

You might remember back in January we mentioned a review of the Highway Code. As of 29 January 2022, a number of changes to the code came into force – and it’s one step closer to making our roads safer for horses and riders. Most significantly, a new hierarchy of road users means that riders are to be considered equal to cyclists.

So what does that mean in practice? We’ve broken down some of the most important things you need to know.

  1. The new hierarchy of road users gives more responsibility to those who present the most risk. For example – drivers have responsibility for themselves, as well as cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians, because they present the most risk.
  2. Within the hierarchy, cyclist and horses riders are to be treated equally.
  3. Riders have responsibility for themselves, and more vulnerable road users like pedestrians.
  4. Other road users must pass riders at no more than 10mph, with at least 2 metres of space.
  5. Cyclists must not pass a horse on the left.
  6. Drivers should take extra care when entering a roundabout, and must not cut across riders who are continuing around the roundabout in the left hand lane.
  7. Horse riders should give way to pedestrians on a zebra crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists at a parallel crossing.
  8. Horse riders should give way to pedestrians on bridleways, or other shared use paths.

All of the above changes have been welcomed by the British Horse Society, who have been campaigning tirelessly to make the roads safer for horses and riders.

With almost 2 horses killed each week on UK roads, and that number increasing year-on-year, the new rules are aimed to protect horses and riders as vulnerable users.

You can read more about the Highway Code changes here.

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