Henry the Horse
The British Horse Society and Canewdon Equestrians launched a new initiative in October to teach primary school children between the ages of 9-11 years old on how to pass horses safely on the road as pedestrians, cyclists and passengers in a car. It is hoped that the scheme will be rolled out by the BHS to primary schools across the UK.
To find out more information about The Road Safety Awareness Project and to donate to the BHS, please visit: https://www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/safety/henry-the-horse
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal paid a visit to Askham Bryan College near York in September to attend a road safety awareness event organised by The British Horse Society and the College.
As Vice-Patron of the BHS and a supporter of the BHS’ work on equestrian safety, The Princess Royal was invited to the college to observe safety demonstrations depicting some of the key areas of safety work being carried out by the charity.
Electric car demonstrations were held by Alfa Power, looking into the impact these vehicles have on safety for both horses and equestrians. The demonstrations held before Her Royal Highness were non-scientific exercises involving electric cars approaching horses from behind to observe the horse’s reactions.
The Princess Royal was also introduced to College students and lecturers who demonstrated the training being undertaken for the BHS’s Ride Safe Award.
Isle of Man
We attended the Isle of Man TT races with our Dead Slow stand in June, in conjunction with the Isle of Man Road Safety Policing team; imparting our knowledge to the world wide motorbike audience.
We attended Somerset Motofest with the BHS in June, imparting advice and information to those who attended on our Dead Slow campaign. Visitors were also invited to watch our virtual reality video.
Northumberland Road Signs
In August, we teamed up with Northumberland County Council and the ‘Horses and Road Safety Awareness’ (HRSA) organisation to highlight the potential safety issues experienced by horses and riders on the county’s roads.
The county is the first local authority in the country to introduce the signage scheme designed to make drivers aware of what to do when they encounter horses on the road.
This message is being conveyed by new signs that will be displayed at various locations across the county where there have been reported incidents or where large numbers of horses use the roads.
Other councils in the UK are looking to take this up and signage locations will be based on hotspot areas highlighted on the Horse Accidents website from equestrians reporting their near misses and incidents.
We had a Dead Slow stand at Goodwood Revival in September where the Safety Team was promoting Dead Slow to a wider audience of the motoring community.
Royal International Air Tattoo
The BHS had a stand at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in July, which is one of the biggest airshows (120,000 people attending) in the world; offering information on our Dead Slow campaign and inviting people to watch our virtual reality video.
Close Pass Operations
Close Pass Operations is a road safety initiative which aims to reduce the number of incidents between vehicles and horses by using plain-clothes mounted officers to identify drivers who are passing horses too close or too fast.
Drivers who do not pass horses wide and slow on the road may be committing a traffic offence that could lead to prosecution. The drivers stopped were then educated by traffic officers and the BHS about how to pass horses wide and slow.
Hotspot areas to hold the Operations are found using the BHS’ Horse Accidents website where high numbers of riders have reported vehicle incidents and near misses. Police forces that have held Close Pass Operations this year include Police Scotland, Greater Manchester, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Isle of Man and more.
The BHS have worked with companies who have large fleets of drivers, such as John Lewis, Waitrose, Warburton’s, Stagecoach, Morrison’s and others. We have visited them and given a presentation to either the drivers or the instructors and have offered them materials to include in their own training packages in order to spread our Dead Slow message of how to pass horses safely to professional drivers.
Road and Rider Awareness Events
We continue to travel across the UK holding Road and Rider Awareness evenings together with the local police, a legal representative, and other relevant bodies where possible. These evenings are aimed at equestrian and other vulnerable road user groups to inform them on rights and responsibilities whilst out on the roads. This includes advice about the Highway Code, the legal aspects and possible liability implications, but more importantly an opportunity for all present to discuss their experiences and find out more about the Dead Slow campaign.
If you would like a Road and Rider Awareness evening in your local area you can contact the local BHS committee who organise the events. So far in 2019 we have held 30 Road and Rider Awareness events across the UK.