Question to the Department for Transport:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that collisions involving a motor vehicle with a horse and a rider on a public highway are treated the same as a collision with any other vulnerable road user even if the rider is unhurt.
Provisions within the Road Traffic Act 1988 set out the duties which exist in the event of a collision between a motor vehicle and animal, including a horse. A driver who causes injury to a horse must provide their name and address to anyone reasonably requiring it, failing which they must report the incident to the police. If the driver fails to do any of this, they are guilty of an offence, for which they could be arrested and prosecuted. There is no requirement for the police to attend the incident.
The Department is taking steps to improve safety for horse riders using the highway through updates to The Highway Code which will introduce safe passing speeds and distances. The Highway Code in its current form already mentions horse riders and the need for drivers to exercise special care in relation to them.