Another tethered horse has escaped and run on to a York road – as it emerged that City of York Council would struggle to defend accident insurance claims involving such animals.Oh? And why is this?
Several horses tethered on verges on the eastern side of York have broken free over the past month or so.
Two of them have been killed after being struck by vehicles.
The owner of a Ford Transit van which was written off in one of those accidents – who was told by police he would have been killed had he been driving a car – has said he intends to sue the council.It seems this has been an ongoing problem for some time now. And the usually ultra-H&S-conscious council officials are dragging their heels. How very curious!
Coun Warters, who has been quizzing officers about the authority’s legal liability with such accidents, said he had now received an email from David Walker, head of financial procedures, telling him the views of an official at the council’s insurers Zurich Municipal.
The official said he could not offer legal advice, but it seemed to him that as the Highways Authority, the council would be deemed responsible if an “obstruction was caused emanating from the verge”.
He said: “At common law and under statute, you will, in my view, struggle to defend as you are fully aware of this issue and the potential for serious injury or death.”So why would the council be willing to risk this, rather than off laying that risk to where it belongs, the owner?
Or taking action to ensure, in the event of a continued lack of responsibility by the owner, that they have done all they conceivably can do to remove the risk, even if that means impounding the animals? After all, other councils can do it when the animals are slightly smaller!
Mr Walker said any claim would be met from the council’s public liability policy, but Coun Warters queried whether this might increase the authority’s premiums in the long run.So, what gives?
I have narrowly avoided a collision with horses that have become un-tethered twice on Holtby Lane. Who gives these people permission to tether their horses unenclosed and so close to public highways?Good question! Here’s another one. Who are ‘these people’? Well, there’s a few clues in the comments:
This situation is ridiculous - The council and police are just waiting for another serious incident to occur but still will not take preventative measures to stop it - even though the horses can legally be removed. The people in charge need replacing with someone with some sense of right and wrong and the will to do something about it............
Funny how the owner can always be traced when no damage has been done !Odd, isn’t it? And if ‘horses’ and ‘Yorkshire Police’ is ringing bells with you, then congratzs! There may well be a solution here! It’s certainly occurred to others…
Pete the Brickie says...
Councillor Waters may as well stop wasting his time with this, COYC "Officers" and their equally inept partners North Yorkshire Police have no intention of doing anything proactive about this problem. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they'd all been issued with questionnaire to that goes something like this:
1) Does the animal concerned have distinctive brown and white markings? 2) Was it tethered near suspiciously similar beasts, have these animals been reported to us by several concerned motorists and the RSPCA. 3) Is the animal already in the road and been involved in several near misses? 4) Was the animal tethered near a residence of non-permanent nature populated by people whose identity is a little difficult to ascertain, who may have a rough working knowledge of the law and are able to avoid answering questions placed to them? 5) Is the animal dead or injured having been struck by a moving vehicle?
If the answers to any of questions 1-4 are yes if you work for the council tell the caller to ring the RSPCA or police, if you work for the police tell the caller to ring the council, please note there is as yet no defined limit to amount of times a caller may be referred from one partner organisation to the other in these instances. If the answer to question 5 is yes and you work for the council advise the caller to ring the police, if you work for the police immediately dispatch traffic units from their current position outside Mcdonalds at Bilton Top to check the vehicle involved’s tyre tread depth, wipers, insurance, drivers vision, licence and blood alcohol level. On no account are officers to make any effort to locate the owner of the horse once they don’t answer the caravan door.
If the answer to any of questions 1-5 is no the animal concerned may be safely in a field, owned by someone who lives in a house and of no real concern to any organisation other than the RSPCA. If you work for the council tell the caller to ring the police, if you work for the police immediately dispatch all available officers in high visibility clothing equipped with luxury 4wd’s and at least two firearms support units, officers are to chase the animals haplessly round fields for at least six hours without the aid of specialist tools such as a 50ft rope strung between two blokes. Once it has been clearly noted that the animals pose no danger and have no access to any road get the firearms boys in to turn them into Pedigree Chum on the grounds you are thick , can’t think of any other solution and control has told you there is no overtime getting paid on this one.So it would seem that there’s a certain reluctance, on the part of the authorities, to act against a defined identity group even when H&S is at risk, and when it could cost them dear in a court case…
the commentator says...
It is quite laughable when you watch the recent never ending documentaries about gypsies and how the are subject to predujide by "town folk". It is little wonder that this is the case when they tether their livestock wherever they want, seemingly free of punishment. If one of us let our dogs walk unleashed and they ran into the road and caused an accident no doubt we would be imprisoned! I live near the Water Lane camp and have to put up with their scrote children riding quad and trail bikes on council owned ground with no intervention.
Once again, we the tax paying public have to put up with these travellers that choose to flaunt the law and get away with it. Once they start acting like law abiding citizens, then we shall start treating them like law abiding citizens.Well said. Time for some more target practice, Yorkshire Police?
Another police/council euphemism for TGBs or Pikeys is 'rogue trader' especially in my local rag. Surnames such as LEE, SMITH or BRAZIL also give a clue and where the victim is elderly.
The police and council can hardly go enforcing the law to the traveller community one minute and then spend thousands inviting them all to an open day celebrating the lifestyle/culture of the thieving wasters at Police HQ or the town hall now can they. I mean, they can't keep the Mary Seacole/Black History Month posters up ALL THE TIME can they? eh?
As soon as I read the first line I knew what was coming. Full marks for getting to the very last paragraph before mentioning the "T" word!!
Pete the Brickie should blog.
Lots of complaining but no action...from anyone.
How hard can it be for the average citizen to lay their hands on balaclavas and baseball bats ?
Dead of night, no cameras in fields, pick em off one by one til they all get the message....what's the problem here ?
*Tsk*...no imagination some people. ;)
"Time for some more target practice, Yorkshire Police?"
Spare the horses though.
The insurers may take a dim view of any claim made by the council which clearly is not taking "reasonable steps" to minimise the risks. Zurich isn't a charity they will avoid meeting the claim if they can.
I hope no motorist is injured but just imagine the potential size of the claim if a premier division footballer and his super-model girlfriend driving in their Ferrari hit one of these horses!!!!
I say remove them, and leave pots of glue in thier place.
"Another police/council euphemism for TGBs or Pikeys is 'rogue trader' especially in my local rag. "
Hmmm, I do see that one quite a bit!
"Pete the Brickie should blog."
He should indeed! Maybe he does?
"Dead of night, no cameras in fields, pick em off one by one til they all get the message....what's the problem here ?"
Somehow, I think the police would throw a lot more manpower at solving that!
"...but just imagine the potential size of the claim if a premier division footballer and his super-model girlfriend driving in their Ferrari hit one of these horses!!!!"
"Still applies equally to any crime and any ethnic minority offenders.."
"I say remove them, and leave pots of glue in thier place."
I like that idea!
And the usually ultra-H&S-conscious council officials are dragging their heels. How very curious!
That's the understatement of the year.
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