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Animal Safety

Dealing with animals whilst driving

Watch out for animals being led or ridden on the road and take extra care at left-hand bends and on narrow country roads.

  • Drive slowly past animals, give them plenty of room and be ready to stop
  • Do not scare animals by sounding your horn or reving your engine
  • Look out for horse riders' signals and be aware they may NOT move to the centre of the road prior to turning right


Animals on the highway

  • Do not let your dog out on its own; keep it on a short lead when taking it for a walk on or near a road or on a path shared with cyclists
  • Keep animals under control in vehicles. They should be restrained either behind a dog guard, in a cage or using a suitable purpose made animal seatbelt.
  • Do not let a dog out of a vehicle on to the road unless it is on a lead.


Herding animals

  • If you are herding animals, keep to the left of the road and if possible, send another person along the road to warn other road users, at bends and brows of hills
  • If you have to herd animals after dark, wear reflective clothing and ensure that white lights are carried at the front of the herd and red lights at the rear


Horse riders

Before a horse is taken on to the road you must consider the following:

  • Make sure you can control it. If you think that your horse will be nervous of traffic, always ride with other less nervous horses.
  • Make sure all tack fits well and is in good condition. Never ride a horse without a saddle or bridle.
  • Wear an approved safety helmet and fasten it securely. Children under the age of 14 must do this every time they get on a horse. You should also wear boots or shoes with hard sole and heels.
  • Although not advisable,if you have to ride at night, wear reflective clothing and make sure your horse has reflective bands on it's legs above the fetlock joints. Carry lights, which show white to the front and red to the rear
  • Before riding off or turning, look behind you to make sure it is safe and then give a clear arm signal. When riding, keep to the left. If you are leading a horse, keep it to your left. In one-way streets move in the direction of the traffic flow.
  • Never ride more than two abreast. Ride in single file on narrow roads.
  • You must not take a horse on to a footpath, pavement or cycle track. Use a bridle path where possible.
  • Avoid roundabouts wherever possible. If you have to use them keep to the left and watch out for vehicles crossing your path to leave or join the roundabout. Signal right when riding across exits to show you are not leaving. Signal left just before you leave the roundabout.
  • It's advisable to wear reflective hi-visibility clothing.

Bedford Borough Council Road Safety Team  

    telephone (01234) 228336

Email road.safety@bedford.gov.uk


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