Horse and Buggy Safety on the Roads
May 19, 2022, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Horse and buggy use on the road is a common in much of Waterloo Region. They seem quaint, and tourists come to see the Mennonite community in action at the market and on farm. The Old Order Mennonites depend almost exclusively on the horses and buggies for transportation and drive them on the shoulder, or on road, as needed.
Every year we hear of tragedies involving the buggies and the motorized vehicles. People drive too fast, and too close to the horses. Car drivers hit them from the rear. Many drivers are far removed from agricultural life and don’t realize how easily horses can spook and behave erratically.
Remember that horse-drawn vehicles are some of the slowest on the road. They range from a single horse and buggy to large farm wagons pulled by two or more horses. They travel primarily on the shoulder of the road but will pull onto the road as required. They are almost always black.
The horse and buggy can be found on north Waterloo Region roads. They are subject to the rules of the road, and must obey traffic lights and signs and speeds. They must display a slow-moving vehicle triangle on the back of the buggy and reflective tape on the rear.
If you see a horse drawn vehicle approach cautiously maintaining safe following distance and only pass when it is safe. If you approaching an oncoming one give it as much space on the road as you can by pulling to the far right of your lane.
As summer holiday and drive season is here, now is a good time to review safety around horses.
- Know where you are likely to encounter them - Waterloo Region, Bruce County, Aylmer area, and between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie are larger centres of Mennonite Communities.
- Drive slowly when you are approaching, passing or following a buggy.
- Do not crowd them. Give them lots of room.
- NEVER honk or swerve towards a horse and buggy
- Know when you may see them. Typically, Sunday Mornings and Wednesdays are church days, weekday mornings and afternoons are school time. Saturday is Market day. Keep a look out.
- Remember that the passengers in buggies do not have seat belts. Buggies often carry children. Be aware.
- If you are involved in a buggy accident, stay on the scene and call 911 if there are injuries or damage. If the horse is wounded stay away from it.
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-519-742-7774.