The British Horse Society are proud supporters of Brake's Road Safety Week. Their theme for 2018 is ‘Bike Smart’ – which supports the message of our ‘Be nice, say hi’ campaign in collaboration with Cycling UK. Equestrians and cyclists are both vulnerable road users. We both share similar risks when riding on the road, and we need access to more safe off-road riding.
Safety of horses and riders is of paramount importance to us and we want to use Road Safety Week and our Dead? Or Dead Slow? campaign as an opportunity to raise awareness of the very real threat that riders and carriage drivers face, and to educate drivers on how to pass horses on the road safely.
We have seen 845 incidents reported to us from 1 March 2018 to 28 February 2019, as well over a quarter of riders reporting that they were subject to road rage or abuse.
With an increasing number of reported incidents involving riders and cars, we're building on our solid foundation of road safety education and campaigning to make drivers aware of what to do when they encounter horses on the road.
We have produced this video to show drivers how to take care and what they need to do when they meet horses on the road.
- Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
- Be patient, don't sound your horn or rev your engine
- Pass the horse wide and slow (at least a car's width)
- Drive slowly away
We're on hand to offer some helpful tips and advice for riders to help improve road safety.
- Wear hi-viz, fluorescent and reflective clothing whenever you ride out, on-road or off-road, even in bright sunlight
- Wear protective headgear to current approved standards
- Be alert and give clear and decisive signals
- Acknowledge and return courtesy, a smile and a nod are enough if your hands are full
- Take The British Horse Society Ride Safe Award
Read more information about staying safe when riding on the road here.
As a Charity, we believe it’s our responsibility to inform riders on what they can do to protect themselves.
The TRL conducted research for the BHS to help advise riders on the best way to be seen when riding out. The report, ‘Conspicuity of horses and riders on the road’ was commissioned due to a lack of evidence-based research currently available about what horse riders should wear to help protect themselves.
Three main recommendations have been made, which the we hope will reduce the number of incidents;
- Wearing LED lights, ideally in a pattern highlighting the width of the horse and rider, along with high visibility and reflective clothing
- Speed limits on roads with a national speed limit where horses are frequently ridden or driven should be reduced and enforced
- Riders should use bright and reflective safety clothing where possible – riders should consider the dominant colours in their riding environment and choose a colour which will provide contrast accordingly
Read the report to find out more information.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Safety Department who will be happy to help