The British Horse Society (BHS) have installed road safety signs, which educate drivers how to safely pass horses and riders in Clifton today (6th June) where a tragic accident involving the death of a horse happened earlier this year.
The equine charity, BHS, Cumbria Police and the Road Safety partnership have worked together to get the signs placed in the location of where the accident occurred, to support equestrians in the local area.
Statistics released by the BHS in March revealed road incidents involving horses and vehicles remain a problem in the North of England, with 34 incidents reported to the equine charity during 2020-2021. Overall, incidents in the North of England decreased by less than 3% compared to the previous year, despite lockdown restricting activity.
The BHS has collated incident statistics to understand the rate of incidents involving horses on UK roads. Of the 1,010 reported, 80% of them occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely and close to half were subject to road rage. The charity has launched a new free safety app, Horse i, which allows riders to report incidents as soon as they get back to the yard.
The charity is urging drivers to be careful when passing horses on the road and encouraging them to adhere to its Dead Slow campaign messages.
Dead Slow was launched to help better educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. The campaign consists of four key behavioural change messages to drivers:
If I see a horse on the road then I will...
1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
2. Be patient – I will not sound my horn or rev my engine
3. Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
4. Drive slowly away
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said: “This was an awful accident, and the rider lost her horse as a result. We are pleased to have worked with Francesca, the rider involved, Cumbria Police and the Road Safety partnership to look at what we can do to prevent this happening again. The safety road signs are now up in Clifton and we hope they will make a difference for equestrians in the area.”
The new BHS safety app ‘Horse i’ is available to download for free from the Apple store and Google Play. Equestrians who do not use smart phones can record incidents via the online form at horseincidents.org.uk