Are animals considered a vehicle and therefore have to comply to road rules?

Section 11 of the Australian Road Rules states that the rules apply to vehicles and road users on roads and road-related areas. Section 15 of the Australian Road Rules defines what a vehicle and it does include animals drawing a vehicle or being ridden by a person. This is supported by section 14 which defines a road user as including a rider and section 17 includes a person riding an animal as a rider. Therefore animals/the people riding them must comply with the road rules unless otherwise stated.  For example some rules only apply to ‘motor vehicles’ which of course excludes animals (See 1 in Appendix).

Appendix

1.

2—Application of the Rules and some key concepts

The application of the Australian Road Rules and some key concepts are explained in Part 2 of the Rules. You will need to understand Part 2 to apply the rules properly. Roads and road-related areas

The Rules apply to vehicles, animals and persons on roads and road-related areas. Road-related areas are areas like footpaths, nature strips and parking areas. The Rules generally apply to road-related areas in the same way as they apply to roads.In the Rules, a reference to a road generally includes road-related areas. If a particular rule does not apply to road-related areas, or applies only to road-related areas, this will be stated in the rule.Drivers and ridersThe Rules are generally expressed to apply to drivers of vehicles, since they are the largest category of road users. A driver is the person driving or otherwise in control of a vehicle. For example, a person steering and pushing a stalled motor vehicle would be in control of the vehicle and be the driver.

11—Australian Road Rules

Apply to vehicles and road users on roads and road-related areas

(1)The Australian Road Rules apply to vehicles and road users on roads and road-related areas.

Note— Road is defined in rule 12, road-related are as defined in rule 13, road user is defined in rule 14, and vehicle is defined in rule 15.

(2)Each reference in the Australian Road Rules (except in this Division) to a road includes a reference to a road-related area, unless otherwise expressly stated in the Rules.

14—Road users

A road user is a driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian.

17—Who is a rider

(1)A rider is the person who is riding a motor bike, bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle

15—What is a vehicle

A vehicle includes—

(a)a motor vehicle, trailer and tram; and

(b)a bicycle; and

(c)an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle; and

(d)a combination; and

(e)a motorised wheelchair that can travel at over 10 kilometres per hour (on level ground), but does not include another kind of wheelchair, a train, or a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy.

119—Giving way by the rider of a bicycle or animal to a vehicle leaving a roundabout

The rider of a bicycle or animal who is riding in the far left marked lane of a roundabout with 2 or more marked lanes, or the far left line of traffic in a roundabout with room for 2 or more lines of traffic (other than motor bikes, bicycles, motorised wheelchairs or animals), must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout. Offence provision.

Note 1— Bicycle and marked lane are defined in the dictionary, and vehicle is defined in rule 15. Note 2— For this rule, give way means the rider must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision—see the definition in the dictionary.

Division 1—Lights on vehicles (except bicycles, animals and animal-drawn vehicles)

214—Division does not apply to riders of bicycles, animals or animal-drawn vehiclesThis Division does not apply to the rider of a bicycle, animal or animal-drawn vehicle.

Note 1— Bicycle is defined in the dictionary.

Note 2— The rules for using lights when riding a bicycle or an animal-drawn vehicle at night, or in hazardous weather conditions, are— • for riders of bicycles—rule 259• for riders of animal-drawn vehicles—rule 223

Division 2—Lights on animal-drawn vehicles

223—Using lights when riding an animal-drawn vehicle at night or in hazardous weather conditions

A person must not ride an animal-drawn vehicle at night, or in hazardous weather conditions causing reduced visibility, unless the vehicle is fitted with, and displays—

(a)a white light fitted at or towards the front of each side of the vehicle that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the front of the vehicle; and

(b)a red light fitted at or towards the rear of each side of the vehicle that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the vehicle; and

(c)a red reflector fitted at or towards the rear of each side of the vehicle that is—

(i)not over 1.5 metres above ground level; and

(ii)clearly visible for at least 50 metres from the rear of the vehicle when light is projected onto it by another vehicle’s headlight on low-beam

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