Your Horse (UK) - - Contents -

Who can use bri­dle­ways? l Em­ploy­ment con­tracts l Rid­ing on com­mon land l Who’s li­able after an ac­ci­dent? l What to wear out hack­ing l Rid­ing two abreast on the road


What’s the law re­gard­ing off-road ve­hi­cles and bri­dle­ways? I seem to see so many 4x4s and mo­tor­bikes on a lo­cal track at the mo­ment! An­gela Bates, Lan­cashire


On a bri­dle­way, you are al­lowed to ride or lead a horse. Walk­ers and cy­clists are also al­lowed to use bri­dle­ways, but cy­clists must give way to horses, rid­ers and walk­ers. Re­stricted bri­dle­ways can be used by all non­me­chan­i­cally pro­pelled traf­fic, such as a horse-drawn car­riage. It’s an of­fence to drive a me­chan­i­cally pow­ered or mo­torised ve­hi­cle, such as a quad or scram­bler bike, on a bri­dle­way or re­stricted bri­dle­way. It doesn’t mat­ter if the driver has a valid driv­ing li­cence and in­surance — driv­ing on a bri­dle­way is still il­le­gal.

Meet­ing il­le­gal traf­fic

Firstly, your horse and your own safety should come first. Don’t do any­thing that would put you or your horse in danger — and I would not rec­om­mend chal­leng­ing the driver. If you feel threat­ened, phone the po­lice us­ing 999 and re­port the driver as soon as pos­si­ble. If it’s safe to do so, take a photo of the off-road ve­hi­cle or try to make a note (men­tal or writ­ten) of: The make, model and colour of the off-road ve­hi­cle The reg­is­tra­tion num­ber (if there is one) and any dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures The ap­prox­i­mate time and lo­ca­tion of the in­ci­dent A de­scrip­tion of the driver and what they were wear­ing As soon as it’s safe to do so, con­tact your lo­cal po­lice sta­tion (ring 101) to re­port the in­ci­dent. If the driver on a bri­dle­way is caught in the act by po­lice and warned to stop their an­ti­so­cial con­duct and they don’t, then their ve­hi­cle can be seized by the po­lice. Driv­ers are li­able to be pros­e­cuted for driv­ing ve­hi­cles dan­ger­ously or care­lessly on a bri­dle­way or road, and may be fined.

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