Road rules on horseback

Road rules on horseback

In the spirit of Melbourne Cup, we’ve got a fun horse fact! Did you know that a horse is a vehicle?

The Road Rules include a definition of vehicle that’s designed to capture things most people wouldn’t normally associate with the word. One of those things is “an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle.”

So, in NSW horses are counted as vehicles. That means you could be fined for breaking the road rules while riding a horse, in exactly the same way you could while driving a car.

We’ve put together a list of things the Cup jockeys should be aware of if they choose to ride their horses home tomorrow:

  • Speeding: With race horses being able to run in excess of 80 kmph, they could easily out pace the speed limit in most suburban areas. Best to keep to a trot.
  • Drinking while riding:  It is an offence to consume alcohol while driving a vehicle. The same goes for riding a horse. So, if a celebratory champers is on the list for any of our jockeys tomorrow, they’d better make sure they don’t do it on horseback.
  • Secure load: any load on a vehicle (including a horse) needs to be properly secured and not project in a way that could injure someone. So whoever is the lucky winner of the Cup tomorrow, should make sure that they tie that trophy tightly to their saddle before they head home.
  • Mobile phones: in the same way it’s illegal to text and drive, it’s illegal to text and ride. People riding horses on the road are not allowed to use their mobile phones.

In all seriousness though, events like Melbourne Cup usually bring an increased police presence on the roads. We expect police will have extra RBT locations from tomorrow afternoon to check that drivers haven’t had one too many drinks during their Cup celebrations.

We hope you enjoy your day and have a win. But, if your plan B falls through and you find yourself charged with an offence, call us for help.