‘Keep your distance’: Horse riders’ warning to drivers

MOTORISTS are being urged to check the recently-updated Highway Code after a number of incidents on Vale roads involving the overtaking of horses.

A number of riders have contacted your Salisbury & Avon Gazette claiming drivers appear to be unaware of updated rules in the code, which state vehicles passing people riding horses should do so ‘at speeds under 10mph’, leaving them ‘at least’ 2 metres of space.
The changes were part of a number of updates to the Highway Code, which came into force in January last year.
They state: “You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10mph or less.”
Notes released ahead of the changes added: “There is updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:
“leaving at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
“passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space “allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there’s no pavement)
“Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.”

Elsewhere, changes to the code include drivers giving way to people ‘waiting to cross at a junction’ and that ‘people driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing’.

For more details on the changes visit

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