The death of a pony after a collision with a car shows the “devastating” consequences of travelling at inappropriate speeds, police said.
The man who caused the death of the pony, in the New Forest last year, has been banned from driving and given a hefty fine, a punishment that “sends a strong message” to others.
Oliver William Haywood, of Woodgreen Common Road, Ringwood, had a small child in the back of the car when he hit the pony on Roger Penny Way on 7 August last year. Heywood and the infant sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision – but the pony died from its injuries at the scene.
The 25-year-old was convicted of driving without due care and attention. At West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court on 6 April, he was disqualified from driving for six months, fined £1,600 and ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.
Hampshire Constabulary PC Dan Channer said: “This incident shows the devastating effects of travelling at inappropriate speeds on our forest roads. While an animal has lost its life, the consequences could have been graver – there could have been a loss of human life too.
“The gravity of the fine handed down by the judge, coinciding with a driving ban, sends out a strong message. Drivers who see the forest’s wild animals must be mindful, react and slow down to give plenty of time and space. They do not have road sense, and the Highway Code gives them implicit right of way. It is our duty as road users to afford them safe passage by driving carefully and considerately when in the forest.
“Speed limits are put in place for a reason – and it is exactly that, a limit – not a target. Ponies, horses and other wild animals cross New Forest roads day and night and it is well signposted in these high-risk areas.”
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