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The British Horse Society voices support for Brake’s Road Safety Week 19 – 25 November

20 Nov 2018

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The British Horse Society (BHS) is proudly supporting Brake’s ‘Bike Smart’ campaign for this year’s Road Safety Week, a week long initiative designed to promote road safety through lifesaving messages.

The ‘Bike Smart’ theme supports the recent ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’ safety campaign launched by the BHS in collaboration with Cycling UK. 

The two leading charities joined forces to launch a consideration and courtesy message of ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’, available as instructional videos and information leaflet, to help cyclists and horse riders understand how to pass one another safely both on and off the roads. 

Horses can react quickly when startled, so the charities are encouraging cyclists to:

  • Drop their pace
  • Call out a greeting
  • Give the horse and rider time to react
  • Proceed to overtake wide and slow (when safe to do so)

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the BHS: 

“We are proud supporters of Road Safety Week and their ‘Bike Smart’ theme for 2018. Although cyclists are also vulnerable road users, horses are flight animals and may react to anything they are unsure of. By promoting the ‘Be nice, say hi’ message, we hope more cyclists will appreciate the potential risk they pose. If all road users are considerate and mindful of one another we can reduce the number of incidents between horses, cyclists and vehicles”.    

The collaboration between the two charities followed concern over viral video footage recorded at the Windsor Triathlon showing cyclists undertaking a horse and rider at high speed. The video demonstrated the need for better advice for people cycling on how to overtake horses safely.  

The BHS is also currently working with British Triathlon to help improve the safety information available to competitive cyclists and event organisers on the risks surrounding horse riders on the roads. 

Since the launch of the British Horse Society’s Horse Accidents Website there have been:

  • 197 reported incidents involving horses and cyclists 
  • 2 horse fatalities 
  • 39 horses injured
  • 74 riders injured

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