Monday, April 8, 2013

"Rules of the road" for riding on roads

The Horse Council recently received an inquiry about what laws govern riding horses on public roads in Maryland. Thanks to MHC member, Kathleen Tabor, Esq. (, here is the answer:

Basically the rider of a horse has the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a car (minus having a license plate, turn signals, and other unapplicable provisions). See below:

MD Code Transp. 21-104 Persons riding animals or driving animal-drawn vehicles (Maryland Code (2013 Edition))

(a) In general. -- Every person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle on a roadway has all the rights granted to and is subject to all the duties required of the driver of a vehicle by this title, except for those provisions of this title that by their very nature cannot apply.

(b) Special prohibitions. --

(1) Except in Charles, Worcester, and St. Mary's counties, or as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person may not ride an animal or drive an animal-drawn vehicle on:

(i) Any divided highway where the posted maximum speed limit is more than 35 miles an hour; or

(ii) Any controlled access highway.

(2) In Anne Arundel County, a person may ride an animal on any part of a highway described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, other than on its roadway or shoulder.

HISTORY: An. Code 1957, art. 66 1/2, § 11-104; 1977, ch. 14, § 2; ch. 738.

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