Vulnerable User (Bike, Equestrian, and Pedestrian) Laws Are Updated!
Horses now fall under the title of "Vulnerable Users."  This also includes horse drawn vehicles.
Below is an update as of July 1, 2016.
The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 23 : Motor Vehicles
Chapter 013 : Operation Of Vehicles
Subchapter 003 : Use Of Roadway
§ 1033. Passing motor vehicles and vulnerable users
(a) Passing motor vehicles. Motor vehicles proceeding in the same direction may be overtaken and passed only as follows:
(1) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking another motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction may pass to its left at a safe distance, and when so doing shall exercise due care, shall not pass to the left of the center of the highway except as authorized in section 1035 of this title, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken motor vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking motor vehicle and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
(b) Passing vulnerable users. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching or passing a vulnerable user as defined in subdivision 4(81) of this title shall exercise due care, which includes increasing clearance to a recommended distance of at least four feet, to pass the vulnerable user safely, and shall cross the center of the highway only as provided in section 1035 of this title. A person who violates this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $200.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)


On July 1st new and updated laws relating to the operation of bicycles and motor vehicles on Vermont's roadways became active and enforceable. Local Motion has produced a brochure to help people understand the new and updated laws. You can find a printable download here:   (Hard copies are available at Local Motion on Steel Street in Burlington and at bike shops throughout the state.)

One update clarifies the right of cyclists to ride two abreast unless otherwise prohibited by ordinance, and only if doing so does not impede traffic (think farm machinery, and if you're holding up traffic for more than several seconds to clear an obstacle or hazard, clear the way as soon as practicable). Another affords cyclists a 4 foot buffer from passing cars. In general, this means that an average sized car can safely pass a cyclist riding to the right as far as is practicable, by aligning the vehicle's left wheels with the centerline of the roadway (11' lane, 6' wide car leaves 5' not including any should that might be present).

Still true, and exceptionally important for cyclists and motorists alike (though not listed in the updated brochure), is the requirement to use caution in the presence of animals: § 1127. Control in presence of animals: (a) Whenever upon a public highway and approaching a vehicle drawn by a draft animal, an animal upon which a person is riding, or animals being herded, the operator of a motor vehicle shall operate the vehicle in such a manner as to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the frightening of any animal and to ensure the safety and protection of the animal and the person riding, driving, or herding.

Carmel N. Stone

Spring 2016 – Safety Committee Update

With the help of Ken Hoeppner the Radio version of the PSA has been circulated throughout Vermont to 47 radio stations.  

The Safety and Promotion Committee (Carmel Stone, Meg Costello, Ken Hoeppner) are working on a new PSA called “Hikers, Bikers and Hooves.”  We will be working on a script and hopefully collaborating on costs with local organizations.  Information will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval.  We hope to have this project completed before the end of 2016.

 On April 13th Heidi Krantz and Carmel Stone are invited to the Governor’s Safety Alliance Committee Board Meeting.  A presentation will be given regarding our PSA and horses on the road safety materials.  This is very exciting to be asked to be part of this committee.  VHC will have a voice in safety matters concerning horses and we hope to network with subcommittees to promote Vermont Horse Council and educate the general public through collaborating with other groups such as Locomotion, Law Enforcement officials, etc.

Safety vests for riders are still available.  Pedestrians and bicyclists are finding the vests to be very beneficial.   Equestrian riders are easily seen on the trails & roads when wearing an Equisafety vest. Lightweight & durable with front zipper, 2 side pockets and adjustable side tabs Sizes: Medium, Large, X Large. Cost:  $35 each.  To purchase Contact: Carmel Stone at 802-373-6302 Contact Carmel Stone at 802-879-7354 or to purchase a vest for $35.00.  Click HERE for printable PDF flyer! 

Horse Paper Pouches are available for purchase for $20.00, in a variety of colors.  These pouches are great to keep Coggins and Rabies certificate, shot records and even information on your dog (Rabies and Dog License).  Contact Carmel Stone at 802-879-7354 or

With spring in sight, it’s time to think about getting ready to ride and checking over tack and getting Trailers registered.  Take extra time checking over tack, worn or dried out leather can become a safety issue.  Double checking the trailer hitch before heading out on the road can save your live and your horse(s). 

Contact Info:
Carmel Stone
117 Old Stage Road
Essex Junction, VT 05452
(802) 373-0638

Helpful Links:

Ask your local television stations to air this Public Service Announcement video to educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. -Contact Dr. Betsy Greene ( with the station contacts to get the file sent to them. This PSA was created through collaborations by University of Vermont, Vermont Horse Council and Vermont Farm Bureau.

Vermont-Large-Animal-Technical-Rescue-Coalition Trained Teams

by Carmel Stone

The current teams are:

  • Colchester Technical Rescue = Chittenden, Grand Isle and Washington Counties
  • Orwell Fire Department = Addison and Northern Rutland County
  • Being run out of the Lucy Mckenzie Humane Society by a trained responder = Orange and  Northern Windsor County
  • Grafton Fire Department = Windham and Southern Windsor Counties
  • Middletown Springs = Bennington and Southern Rutland County
  • Craftsbury Fire Department = Lamoille and Orleans County
  • Sheffield-Wheelock Fire Department Technical Rescue = Caledonia and Essex County

In an emergency teams can only be requested by your local fire department law enforcement or  veterinarian.

Call 911 and your veterinarian in the event of emergency!!  Please state you have a large animal emergency.

Facebook Information:  the URL link is