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|Safety message: Stay clear of draft horses|
|Written by Chief Mark M. DeLuca|
|Tuesday, 21 July 2009 14:04|
Although farming in Duxbury is less common than it used to be, we do still have a number of small farms in town. We also have many horse owners and riders who travel our roadways. I would like to take this opportunity to inform motorists about the laws governing the passing of horses and draft animals on roadways. Many people are unaware that Massachusetts law requires motor vehicle operators to stop their vehicles when approaching horses or draft animals on a roadway, if the animal appears frightened or if the person(s) in control of the animal signals you to do so.
The law requires that you remain stopped until such animal(s) pass (when traveling in opposite directions) and that you must use reasonable caution to pass such an animal (when traveling in the same direction). These provisions are contained in the same statute that governs the passing of school busses (MGL Ch. 90 Sec. 14). A violation of this law is subject to a $250.00 fine and more importantly poses a serious safety risk to motorists, the animals, and their owners.