Changes to road traffic rules in Australia have meant that horses are now classed as vehicles.
South Australia Police, in noting that many of the old rules relating to the interaction between cars and horse riders have been removed from legislation, said that in both the Road Traffic Act and the Australian Road Rules, a reference to a driver generally includes a rider.
"So, before you saddle up or hitch up the wagon, keep in mind that the Road Traffic Act and Australian Road Rules also generally apply to anyone riding or in control of animals or animal-drawn vehicles, in just the same way as they apply to vehicle drivers."
Key road rules relating to horses on the road included the fact that a rider is allowed to ride in the opposite direction to a one-way sign providing that they are on a footpath, nature strip or shared path.
- The rider of an animal must give way to any pedestrians on a footpath or nature strip
- Neither drivers or passengers of a motor vehicle are permitted to lead an animal while the motor vehicle is moving, including by tethering the animal to the motor vehicle, unless the driver is permitted to do so under another law.
- A rider can travel two abreast as long as they are no more than 1.5 metres apart from each other.
- The rider of an animal who is in the far left marked lane of a roundabout with 2 or more marked lanes, must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.