BHS Lancashire Volunteer Committee proudly hosted their riders rights and responsibilities talk, welcoming over 30 riders from Lancashire and beyond to Farmers Arms, Bispham on 12 October. All attendees received a complimentary Hi-Viz tabard, thanks to funding from the BHS Lancashire Volunteer Committee. Presenters Alan Hiscox BHS Director of Safety, Ellen Shaw Barrister and Maureen Green of Lancashire Mounted Police outlined key points to help riders, and answered a range of questions regarding cyclists, dogs and local issues at the end.
Alan Hiscox began with a presentation detailing how the BHS aims to support all road users to be better drivers, better riders and better horses. BHS is pleased to be working with a wide range of companies and organisations to support them to understand Rule 215 of the Highway Code, which considers how to pass horses safely on the road. A large concentration of riders in the audience meant particular focus was spent on how they can improve their own safety – whether it’s wearing Hi-Viz or even ‘Bright-Viz’, perhaps a bright coloured top in the case of no Hi-Viz, showing and returning courtesy to other road users, reading the highway code themselves and gaining their own riding and road safety award. The audience were made aware that the BHS are now being contacted by TV and radio stations, newspapers and organisations asking for our statistics from their horse accidents website, which highlights the importance of riders reporting every single incident or near miss to ensure the statistics are an accurate representation of our roads.
Ellen Shaw then explained the importance of having insurance. There is no guarantee the other party will ever have insurance so it’s crucial as a rider that you’re covered. It’s mandatory for your car on the road so why not have the same level of protection on your horse? The BHS Gold Membership includes public liability insurance and a free Legal helpline – for just over £5 per month it delivers peace of
mind and supports the BHS to deliver campaigns such as Dead Slow. Interestingly, Ellen explained that if a rider is found to not be wearing Hi-Viz, in the event of a incident the insurers can be unlikely to pay out – which highlights the importance of reading the T&C’s to your Insurance policy! The audience was asked to consider before riding out ‘am I wearing suitable clothing and equipment which a jury would deem allows me to be seen and safe?’
PC Mauren Green then took to the floor, informing the audience the importance of calling 101 to report incidents and near misses so the Police are aware of incidents occurring on local roads. Attending your local PACT meeting, and finding out who is your local community officer, may help resolve local issues too.
Finally, the audience were urged to spread the word and unite to make our roads safer for all users. As the BHS speaks to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), trains companies and engages support of organisations to educate drivers, it’s so important that riders do their part locally to make sure other riders have insurance, wear Hi/Bright Viz, and tell non-horsey friends how to safety pass horses.