Police warning over horses on New Forest roads

DRIVERS are being warned to be aware of horses on the roads of the New Forest as summer approaches.

Hampshire Police said it expects to see more people getting back to riding their horses as the warmer weather arrives.

And officers are urging motorists to remember to pass wide and slow when they encounter a horse on the road.

Some of the key points to remember when you come across a horse in the road are:

  • Slow down to a maximum of 10mph
  • Be patient – don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
  • Pass the horse wide and slow – at least two metres
  • Drive slowly away

More guidance from the British Horse Society is available at

If horse riders need to report an incident to police and have Go-Pro footage, they can report it within seven days of the incident via—report-an-incident.

“Feral or semi-feral ponies are found in areas such as the New Forest and require the same consideration as ridden horses when approaching or passing,” a police spokesperson said.

“In the event of a collision with a free-roaming animal in the road, it’s important to stop your vehicle, check on the animal if safe to do so, identify your location and call the police.

“It is worth downloading the What3Words app on your phone to help you identify exactly where you are – this information can then be passed to a police call handler to help track you down.”

Failing to report a collision with an animal is an offence under Section 170(8) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, they added, with animals including horses, cattle, asses, mules, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs.

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