Watch For Horses On The Road

Fraser Valley – It’s a fact of life in the Fraser Valley. Cars, truck and people have to share the side roads with horses. With the horseback riding season in full swing, it is a sad commentary that Abbotsford Police has to go to social media and literally ask you to not “spook the horse” and give the riders some room.

Horses & their riders are extremely vulnerable on the road. Collisions involving livestock pose a considerable risk to motorists, pedestrians, riders and livestock. Please be considerate. If you need to overtake, wait until there is plenty of space and you have a clear view ahead. More tips: Take a look at the Horse Council BC’s Road Safety Handbook: https://buff.ly/2m5BP4y

Advice for motorists:
-Slow down when approaching a horse and rider; allow plenty of following distance;
-Pass carefully- horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable; Avoid sounding your horn or revving your engine;
-Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them;
-If a rider is having trouble controlling their horse, stop. It’s better to wait until the horse is under control than to risk passing it. Look out for riders’ signals to slow down or stop;

Advice for horse rider:
– Horse riders have the same responsibilities as a motor vehicle, and must obey the same rules;
– Before you venture out, ask “Am I ready?”. Are you a competent rider, confident & capable of controlling your horse if there’s a problem on the road. Take young inexperienced horses out with an experienced horse/rider; let the most visible and experienced person ride closest to approaching traffic;
-If at all avoidable, don’t ride in failing light, fog or darkness;
-If riding two abreast, move into single file as soon as it is safe for the motorist to overtake.
Don’t ride more than two abreast on the road.

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