A charity is urging drivers to be more careful when passing horses, after revealing today (8 March) that on average one incident a day happens on UK roads.
The British Horse Society (BHS) which collates statistics on the number of incidents involving horses on the roads has seen over 400 incidents in the past year, as well over a quarter of riders reporting that they were subject to road rage or abuse. Although this is a reduction on the same period the year before, the Charity is warning that this is still far too high, with eight horses killed and 68 injured in the past year alone.
Since the charity began collating statistics in November 2010:
- 2,914 incidents occurred on the road
- 39 riders and carriage drivers have died
- 230 horses have died
The BHS’ road safety campaign, Dead Slow, seeks to educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. The campaign was launched in 2016 after the number of road incidents involving horses increased rapidly year on year. The charity is urging drivers to pledge that when they see a horse on the road they will:
- Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
- Be patient – do not sound their horn or rev the engine
- Overtake only when it is safe to do so, ensuring that they leave at least a car’s width between their vehicle and the horse
- Drive away smoothly
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS said: “We launched our Dead Slow campaign two years ago, and it is great to see that there has been a reduction in the number of road incidents. However, the statistics are still far too high, and we are urging drivers to be more considerate when passing horses on the road”.
The BHS has worked with MPs and Government to gather support for the campaign. In 2017 they commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to look into what riders can do to ensure they are seen on the roads. The report found that as well as conspicuous clothing, lights on both the rider and the horse means they can be seen sooner, allowing the driver time to slow down. The report also suggested that there should be a reduction in speed limit, in areas where horses are frequently ridden.