Hit and Run: The Worrying Trend of New Forest Pony Accidents

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In some of those accidents the animals were left injured and suffering whilst the driver simply drove off. I cannot accept that a driver hitting a pony would not be fully aware of what had happened.

I was not aware that the Verderers of the New Forest now offer a £1000 reward for information leading to the conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident with any of the New Forest ponies owned by the commoners who have historic rights to graze their animals on the New Forest.

The ponies roaming the Forest have the right of way and drivers must take care to avoid them. There is a 40mph limit on the Forest but even that speed will be too fast if ponies are grazing on the verge, as they will often act in an unpredictable way. They may suddenly walk into the road right into the path of an oncoming vehicle. As wild animals they simply have no sense of danger from traffic.

The winter months are more dangerous for the ponies as the shorter daylight hours and inclement weather makes them harder for drivers to see. Some ponies have had reflective collars fitted around their necks, but I am not sure that has led to any reduction in the number of accidents.

There is really no excuse. When travelling through the Forest all drivers need to extra care.

Julia Prior

Associate - Personal Injury team

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