$130 fine awaits drivers who break this strange road rule

·News Reporter
·3-min read

This Queensland road rule is often deemed one of the strangest in Australia, but it makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

The rule makes it illegal for drivers to scare any horses on the state's roads, by laying down laws for drivers to give space to horse-drawn vehicles and not to intimidate any agitated animals.

While it may seem like quite a niche rule it is something that is taken just as seriously as any other road rule in The Sunshine State. So just how much could the offence cost you?

Horse galloping close to car on road. Source: Getty Images
You must not get too close to agitated horses on Queensland's roads. Source: Getty Images

No horsing around

The rule regarding “restive” horses is unique to Queensland and is a local spinoff based around other rules regarding horse riders on the road.

In Rule 303A, the Queensland Government has made it illegal for drivers to intimidate or frighten agitated horses that may seem distressed when on the road.

A horse is deemed to be agitated when the rider raises their hand and points to the horse indicating that it’s in a nervy state.

Drivers must then pull over and wait for the horse to settle without making any distracting noises.

These distracting noises can range from loud engine noise, getting too close, or just ignoring both the rider and their horse.

If you do ignore the horse and rider, you could face an instant fine of $130 from the authorities and it is a law that Queensland Police enforce frequently.

On-board riding a horse on the road. Source: Getty Images
Failing to stop for agitated horses could cost you $130. Source: Getty Images

Beware of animal crossings

Whilst Queensland’s rules surrounding agitated horses may seem strange, it isn’t the only state to implement unique rules concerning animals.

Further south in Victoria, drivers must give way to livestock if they come across passing herds at a designated livestock crossing.

Disrupting passing herds could result in a minimum fine of one penalty unit, which sits at $181 and could increase to five penalty units if the issue is contested.

Animal lovers also need to be careful when letting their animals travel in the back of a ute.

Dogs or other animals aren’t allowed to ride in a trailer or ute without being safely secured on any roads in Australia.

The penalties for getting caught range from $330 in Victoria to $481 in South Australia.

A world of animal rights

It’s not just Australia where animals have been the subject of some strange and baffling road rules.

America has several states which have strange laws regarding animal behaviour on the roads.

Some prominent examples include in Massachusetts where it is officially illegal to carry a gorilla in the back seat of your car.

Herd of cows blocking road. Source: Getty Images
Livestock have right of way over drivers on South African roads. Source: Getty Images

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, animal nuisance laws state that pets should not be caught molesting vehicles.

Offending owners may find themselves slapped with a $US500 ($AU695) if they are caught breaking the law.

South Africa also has an infamous road rule which gives livestock the right of way over other traffic no matter if it's cattle, sheep or ostriches. 

Therefore, always be aware of animals when driving on the roads no matter if you are cruising in Australia or taking a road trip anywhere overseas.

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