Christopher Chan GLA090912ESSA

Speeding cars, road rage put horse riders at risk

SPEEDING drivers are putting horse riders at risk.

More than half of the nation's riders have had an accident or close call while riding along roads.

CQUniversity and University of South Australia researchers found speeding cars were to blame for most accidents and near misses.

Driver road rage also played a part in making roadside riding dangerous.

Dr Kirrilly Thompson and Chelsea Matthews said their 12-month study showed strategies were needed to improve horse and rider safety.

"Whilst our findings confirm the factors identified overseas, we also identified issues around road rules, hand signals and road rage," the authors wrote in the journal Animals.

"We also found reports of potentially dangerous rider-directed road rage.

"We identify several areas for potential safety intervention including identifying equestrians as vulnerable road users and horses as sentient decision-making vehicles, harmonising laws regarding passing horses, mandating personal protective equipment, improving road signage, comprehensive data collection, developing mutual understanding amongst road-users, safer road design and alternative riding spaces; and increasing investment in horse-related safety initiatives."


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