With more seasonal temperatures supposedly around the corner, the B.C. government wants motorists to remember that with warmer weather comes more horses on the road.
In a media release issued Saturday, the provincial government says drivers, especially in rural areas, should “stay vigilant” as more horses and their riders take to B.C. roads.
Horses and their riders are recognized road users under the Motor Vehicle Act, and the provincial government says this means that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are expected to share the roadway and give appropriate space to horses and their riders.
“Signs in rural areas alert drivers to use caution and be courteous when encountering and passing horses and riders. Drivers are advised to watch for these signs, especially at the start of any roadway or along narrow or winding rural roads. Even when signs are not present, people are reminded to share the road with all travellers to keep everyone safe,” the press release reads.
Should a motorist encounter a horse and its rider on the road, the B.C. government recommends slowing down well before getting close to the animal, passing at a slower speed, and accelerating gently in order to avoid making extra noise or spraying gravel.
Additionally, motorists should turn down their music when they are near a horse and should never honk, yell or make noises at the horse.
“If a horse appears agitated, wait for the rider to get it under control before passing. Once past the horse and rider, accelerate gradually,” the release adds.
If travelling by bicycle, scooter or motorcycle, it is recommended to ride quietly and approach single-file.