28 August 2008 17:18
At my yard, we have to cross a busy road to access our local network of bridlepaths. Our rides would be much safer if we could have our own crossing – I’ve heard about horse traffic lights, which seem like a great idea. How do we go about getting some installed? And what are our legal rights if any of us is ever involved in an accident?
By Your Horse
Solicitor Martin Pate replies:
Horse traffic lights are known as Pegasus crossings. This is a crossing facility that has taller poles and extra push buttons, meaning that riders can operate the lights without having to dismount. There are red and green horse signals as well as red and green men. The Pegasus lights stay red for a few more seconds to allow riders sufficient time to cross the road.
A Pegasus crossing has zig-zag road markings. Iron railings are used to stop pedestrians and horses entering the road.
When a council makes the decision whether to install a crossing, it take sinto consideration traffic volume, pedestrian numbers and local factors such as the presence of nearby hospitals, shops, schools and railway stations. If a pedestrian or horse and rider have been injured at a site, then a request for a crossing will be considered in great detail.
Councils receive many requests each year for new crossings. To help use resources to their best effect, each site is surveyed and the results compared with national criteria to identify the most needy locations. If you wish to have a Pegasus crossing erected then you should contact your local council.
If you are injured on a Pegasus crossing by a driver, you may have a civil claim against the driver for negligence. The Highway Code makes it clear that drivers should slow down and take heed at pedestrian and Pegasus crossings, and the duty of care to you would be greater than normal. Providing the accident could be attributed to the driver’s negligence, then you would have a civil claim for damages and/or personal injury against the motorist.