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New leaflet aims to make roads safer for all

22 Feb 2013

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The British Horse Society has joined forces with road safety organisation, GEM Motoring Assist, to take a new approach to horse and rider safety on the roads.

With almost 10 percent of reported incidents in 2012 resulting in a horse fatality and seven percent causing serious injury to the rider, GEM and The British Horse Society have come together to create a ‘Horse Rider Safety’ leaflet to promote road safety for both horse riders and drivers alike.

Cleverly laid out, the leaflet features advice from the viewpoint of the horse rider on one side and, when turned over, from the driver’s point of view. For horse riders, the leaflet includes issues such as hand signals and the importance of fluorescent leg wraps for the most visible parts of a horse. For motorists, the leaflet advises on appropriate speed, the nature of horses as ‘flight’ animals, and the dangers of sudden movement and noise.

Sheila Hardy, Senior Executive Safety at The British Horse Society, says: “We are delighted to broker this relationship with GEM as we work together to raise awareness of safety issues for motorists and horse riders sharing UK roads.

“It is very easy to blame other road users for accidents or misunderstandings on the road. If we have a greater understanding of the needs and concerns of others it can only serve to make everyone safer on the roads.”

David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, says: “We wanted to make this campaign as neutral as possible, without taking the side of either the horse rider or the driver, so both perspectives are included. Working with The British Horse Society, we really want this leaflet to help riders and motorists work together to create the safest conditions for all road users.”

The campaign has already attracted a lot of support, including from Dragons' Den entrepreneur and keen horse rider, Deborah Meaden.

Deborah says: “For drivers and horse riders it is crucial that both parties fully acknowledge and understand the importance of road safety. Sharing the road means shared responsibility, and this campaign offers a great resource for seeing things through the eyes of both the rider and the driver.” 

The leaflet, ‘Horse Rider Safety’, will shortly be available on the BHS website or by email from r.lucas@bhs.org.uk.

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