On the eve of the Melbourne Cup a road rules question about horses has sparked some frustration with people lamenting drivers often ignore the rule.
Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads posed a question to people on Monday featuring an orange car on a two-lane road and a horse rider with two horses just ahead of them.
“The driver of the orange car is approaching an agitated horse by the side of the road,” it wrote.
“The horse is being led and the rider is doing their best to bring it back under control—raising their hand and pointing at the horse. What must the driver of the car do?”
Readers were provided three options: a) Speed up so they can pass the horse and rider as quickly as possible, b) Sound their horn to alert the rider of their presence, and c) Stop at the side of the road and turn off their motor.
Of course, the correct answer is c).
What to do if an agitated horse is on the side of the road
“If you're driving near a horse rider and they signal that the horse they're riding or leading is jumpy or agitated, then you must stop at the side of the road and turn off your motor. It's for the rider's safety, the horse's safety, and for yours,” the department wrote.
“Never sound your horn, rev your engine or pass a horse at high speed.
“The horse rider can signal to the driver by raising a hand and pointing to the horse. The driver must not move the vehicle until the noise of the motor, or the movement of the vehicle, won’t aggravate the horse anymore.”
But people on Facebook complained that many drivers do not honour the rule.
“The number of cars who have done a) and b) whilst I’ve been on a horse on a verge is ridiculous and dangerous,” one woman wrote.
One man complained “no one has common sense anymore”.
“Having myself and many friends in situations like this can be scary and life threatening,” another woman wrote.
Others suggested “it needs to be in the driving test” and most drivers would have a) and b) as “their first reaction” to encountering a horse near the road.
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