Centre for Road Safety

Horse riders have the right to share our roads. They have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, motorcycle riders and bicycle riders. Horses can be easily scared so it’s important to take extra care when driving near them.

Safety tips for drivers

  • Be aware that horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable
  • Slow down and take extra care on bends, crests and on narrow roads, particularly in areas close to horse riding schools or where you see warning signage
  • If you’re passing a horse, whether it’s being ridden or led, or is pulling a vehicle, remember to:
    • Slow down and allow plenty of room when overtaking
    • never use your horn or rev your engine, as this could scare the horse.
  • It’s not just about leaving enough room while passing a horse, it’s about not driving too fast or making loud noises that can scare a horse
  • If you are involved in a crash, you are required to stop and provide relevant information. If someone is injured or there is damage to property, call Triple Zero (000). If a horse is injured, contact the nearest vet.
  • Ensure you are familiar with and follow any warning signs alerting you to the presence of horses:

Safety for horse riders

  • Use horse trails where possible. If you do ride on the road:
    • Always obey road rules
    • avoid tight corners or crests and instead ride on roads where motorists have a good line of sight
    • ride on the left hand side of the road in the same direction as the traffic
    • use clear hand signals to notify motorists of intent to turn.
  • You are permitted to walk or ride your horse on footpaths and nature strips unless specifically prohibited and provided you give way to pedestrians at all times.
  • Ride during daylight hours and wear bright coloured clothing.
  • You can ride side-by-side with another horse rider as long as there is enough space to do so safely and you’re within 1.5m of each other.
  • You should always wear a helmet that meets Australian Standards.

Download our Horses in traffic brochure (PDF, 150KB) for more information.