Riding a horse? Don't use your phone. Yes, really

Riding a horse? Don't use your phone. Yes, really.


Your horse is considered a 'vehicle' in NSW.


When you next ride your horse down the street, don't pick up that phone ringing in your pocket.

Or have a hands-free device attached to your horse.

A NSW man, who pleaded guilty to using a mobile phone while riding a horse, had the matter dealt with in Mudgee Local Court,

The magistrate did not record a criminal conviction and labelled the matter 'trivial'.

The 30-year-old, from Hill End in the NSW Central West, was seen riding the horse along the Hill End Road at Tambaroora, north of Hill End, at 11.08am on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

While travelling at an estimated speed of 10km/h, he was seen to be holding the phone up to his right ear, before police stopped him.

Under the road rules a horse is a vehicle...and he didn't have a hands-free device fitted to the horse. - Magistrate David Day

It was noted that at the time the traffic on the road was light.

Police prosecutor Kris O'Brien tendered the paperwork to the court for the charge of 'Driver use mobile phone when not permitted', and noted "it's not made clear in the charge, but the vehicle is a horse".

Magistrate David Day appeared to wince with laughter and suggested this was perhaps something that Equestrian Australia should educate riders on.

And went onto say he hadn't dealt with such a matter before and added: "I've had someone charged with being drunk on a horse before - but just one".

The defendant's solicitor, Tim Cain, submitted that the matter was "trivial" and that his client pleaded guilty "because he concedes that the horse was in motion".

Magistrate Day said, "under the road rules a horse is a vehicle ... and he didn't have a hands-free device fitted to the horse".

Although, questioned whether the incident occurred on "a quiet day", and concurred it was "trivial - in the extreme".

"Especially in a rural area where animals are a form of transport," he said.

A three-month Conditional Release Order was imposed without a conviction recorded.

  • Under NSW legislation, Road Rules 2014, Road users and vehicles, a 'vehicle' includes an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle. With a 'ride' defined as the rider of a motor bike or animal-drawn vehicle, includes to be in control of.

The story Riding a horse? Don't use your phone. Yes, really first appeared on Mudgee Guardian.


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