NZ Road Safety must include Horse Riders.
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Horse riders are legal road users, but are not currently included in the national master plan for road safety "Safer Journeys". Our legislation is well behind other nations in recognizing the importance of sharing the roads . Our roads must be safe for all.
Change current Road Legislation for horse riders, to at least match current Australian legislation, by:
- allow horses on shared paths.
- allow local authorities to create bridleways (walk-cycle-horse) on roads (they cannot under current law)
- Specifically allow horse riders on verges (current legislation is unclear), and if necessary for safety, on paths (as per current Australian legislation).
- Ensure that Councils and Road Authorities recognise the role that verges (unformed road surfaces) play in the safety of pedestrians and horse riders in rural areas.
Set specific road speed 20kph (same as passing school buses) in road rules for passing horses (not a vague 'slow down'), or at least require drivers to follow hand-signals from riders.
Injuring, or killing a ridden (or driven) horse must be an offence.
- Hitting a horse implies that the driver would have hit the person!
- It is not currently an offence to kill a ridden (or driven) horse.
Road design, and road works (implementation) MUST make rural roads safe for walkers, cyclists AND HORSE RIDERS. This means:
- ensuring verges are safe for walkers, or horse riders. Verges are frequently destroyed by current road design standards/building; creating drains, culverts or putting obstacles on the verge such as barriers or signs (for vehicles) that endanger those who need to use the verges for their safety.
- speed limits that allow pedestrians, horses, and cycles in rural communities with no paths, and no road margin, to use the road safely.
- All road safety plans must recognise all road users on an even footing. Recognising that walkers, cyclists, AND HORSE RIDERS must have safe passage on our roads.
Our rural roads must be safe for ALL to use.
Please don't wait for the next horse to be killed, or rider injured.
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