high way code changes for horse riders

Highway Code Changes – What They Mean For Horse Riders…

Most horse riders have to venture onto the roads at one time or another. There are things that we can do to try to make ourselves safer, such as wearing High Viz and brushing up on our knowledge of “riding and road safety”. On the 29th January, the Highway Code is changing to further support vulnerable road users, such as horses. The highway code changes for horse riders seeks to make the roads a safer place for all of us.

If the 300-rule-long Highway Code isn’t your idea of a coffee table read, then knowing your rights when hacking the roads might not be obvious – especially if you don’t drive! However, new changes to take affect from 29th January will establish a ‘hierarchy of road users’ that puts horse riders at the centre of its rule changes…


Leading the DVSA awareness campaigns for code changes is the fantastic term ‘hierarchy of road users’. This aims to protect those most at risk of collision – such as cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders. It puts the greatest responsibility on those who can do most harm to reduce danger. In order that list looks like this…

  1. Pedestrians
  2. Cyclists
  3. Horse Riders
  4. Motorcyclists
  5. Cars/Taxis
  6. Vans/Minibuses
  7. Large Passenger Vehicles/Heavy Goods Vehicles


Equestrians will also be comforted by fresh advice for approaching, overtaking and passing riders. Motorists are now instructed to slow down to a maximum of 10mph and only when safe to do so, pass leaving at least 2 metres of space. Drivers will also be called to follow rider’s requests to slow down or stop, being reminded by new text that ‘there are three minds at work; the riders, the drivers and the horses.’  


In a further amendment, new and occasional riders are also being advised to take up road safety training, such as the ‘Ride Safe Award’ from the British Horse Society, as part of an update to the ‘Rules about animals’ chapter…   

“If you are an inexperienced horse rider or have not ridden for a while, consider taking the Ride Safe Award from the British Horse Society. The Ride Safe Award provides a foundation for any horse rider to be safe and knowledgeable when riding in all environments but particularly on the road.”

If you’d like to learn more about the BHS certification, visit here for more info.


If you’d like to learn more about the new highway code rule changes for horse riders, you can find the Government summary page here.

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