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Posted: May 20, 2021

Drivers reminded to share road with horses and riders

As more people are drawn outdoors with good weather, drivers in rural areas are reminded to stay vigilant and share the road with others, including horses and their riders.

Signage in many areas alerts drivers to use caution and be courteous when passing horses and riders in rural areas. Drivers are advised to watch for these signs, especially at the start of any roadway or along narrow or winding rural roads.

However, even when signs are not present, people are reminded to share the road with all travellers to keep everyone safe.

Horses and their riders are recognized road users in the Motor Vehicle Act. Drivers should be aware loud noises, like horns or passing vehicles, can startle horses and trigger unpredictable behaviour, causing risk to riders, animals and drivers.

People travelling on foot, bikes and horseback are also advised to use appropriate physical distancing when passing others, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drivers should remember to allow extra room for all to share the roadway.

Drivers are encouraged to use the following tips when travelling near horses:

* slow down long before getting too close;

* pass at a slower speed and give the horse and rider a wide berth (typically a one-car width);

* brake and accelerate gently to avoid making extra noise or spraying gravel;

* turn off stereos and do not honk, yell or rev the engine;

* if travelling by bicycle, scooter or motorcycle, ride quietly and approach single file; and

* if a horse appears agitated, wait for the rider to get it under control before passing. Once past the horse and rider, accelerate gradually.

Horse riders should use caution when travelling on narrow roads or in times of low visibility, such as dusk or dawn. Riders are advised to wear reflective vests, as well as outfit horses with high-visibility leg bands when possible.

Lead image: A sign warning drivers on Gold Creek Road south of Cranbrook about a horse and rider crossing ahead (at 42nd Avenue South). Above image shows some of the young riders who cross Gold Creek Road and ride alongside it. e-KNOW file photo


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