A summary of the key road rules regarding animals.

The rules in detail

The key road rules and reference numbers regarding animals are:

  • 223 - Using lights when riding an animal-drawn vehicle at night or in hazardous weather conditions 
  • 289 - Driving on a nature strip 
  • 297 - Driver to have proper control of a vehicle etc
  • 300 - Use of mobile phones 
  • 301 - Leading an animal while driving a vehicle 
  • 302 - Rider of an animal on a footpath or nature strip to give way to pedestrians 
  • 303A - Horse riding helmets to be worn by riders under 18 
  • 303 - Riding an animal alongside more than 1 other rider 
  • 402 - Giving way to stock 
  • 403 - Requirement to travel at a safe speed near stock 
  • 404 - Requirement to stop at a stock crossing

If you are riding an animal on the road (e.g. a horse), the animal is considered to be a vehicle.

A rider of an animal must obey the same road rules as other drivers. But, there are also some road rules that apply to riders of animals.

  • If you are under the age of 18, you must wear a helmet when riding on a horse on a road, footpath or any road-related area. 
  • You can ride an animal on footpaths and nature strips, unless it is specifically prohibited. But, you must give way to pedestrians. 
  • If you are riding beside another rider, you can't ride more than 1.5 metres apart. 
  • If you are using a vehicle that is being pulled by an animal (e.g. a horse carriage) at night, you must have: 
    • two white lights visible for 200m on the front (one on each side) 
    • two red lights visible for 200m on the back (one on each side) 
    • red reflectors on each side of the vehicle towards the back.

When a stop sign is displayed at a stock crossing, you must stop before reaching the crossing and not start driving again until all animals have crossed the road.

When a 'Give Way To Stock' sign is displayed, you must slow down to a speed where you can give way or stop if necessary to avoid hitting an animal.

‘Give Way To Stock’ signs are displayed around 300m before a stock crossing. They can also apply to a length of road.

You cannot drive a vehicle:

  • with an animal on your lap
  • while you or a passenger is leading an animal
  • while an animal is tied to the vehicle.

For rules about riding a motorcycle with an animal, see our Motorcycles page.

There are no road rules about securing animals in a vehicle while driving. But, there may be laws in Victoria, such as those preventing cruelty to animals, which may need to be considered when driving with animals in your car.

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