Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society
As we have emerged from lockdown over the past few months, more riders have been tacking up and getting out for a hack. While I have enjoyed seeing and hearing of friends and colleagues relishing the recent good weather, sadly, it also means an increase in incidents reported to us.
In the Safety Team, we are often asked what can be done to help prevent such incidents from happening. One of the tools we have, are our BHS Dead Slow Road Signs. You may have already seen them promoted on our Facebook page but getting them in place takes a lot of hard work, as well as a lot of patience. So how exactly do we get them in place…
The process begins with you. Reporting incidents, either on our new Horse i app or at horseincidents.org.uk, this allows us to build a picture of where incidents are occurring. Once we have this information, we are able to determine hot spot areas. We then approach Local Authorities to gain their support for the placing of these educational signs for drivers on how to pass horses safely.
Remember, all incidents reported help us identify problem ‘near miss’ areas, not just collisions. So, if you have experienced a near miss, someone deliberately revving their engine, had road rage directed towards you or anything else that could have caused you or your horse harm, please let us know about it. If it has happened to you then it has probably happened to someone else local to you.
There are many local authorities throughout the UK, all of which have individual requirements and specifications on how temporary signs may be used in their area - there is no one size fits all. We work in partnership with the Local Authorities and the Highways Department to establish the most suitable place to place the road sign. This process can take time, but it is important to get it right – there is no point placing signs where they won’t have a strong impact.
Once this has all been decided the signs then go up. We monitor the number of incidents reported to us so that we can assess the impact that they are having. We regularly see reductions in the number of incidents being reported in these areas.
For more information about what you can do to help protect riders in your area check out the following resources: