Road Safety Week - 21 -27 Nov 2016
21-27 November 2016 is road safety week and the British Horse Society have taken the opportunity to try to improve drivers’ awareness of horses on the road.
The British Horse Society continues to do everything possible to reduce accidents on the road involving horses but there are still far too many. The latest figures have revealed that there have been 2,070 road accidents involving horses in the past five years on British roads. These have resulted in the deaths of 181 horses and 36 drivers.
Dead or Dead Slow
The society launched its new campaign "Dead or dead slow?" in March. This included a video produced in conjunction with the Department of Transport (DFT). It demonstrates how to pass a horse safely on the road.
Alan Hiscox, BHS Director of Safety, said: "We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road."
"A lot of people aren’t sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and that is why we are working towards strengthening the Highway Code so that all drivers know they should slow to 15mph when they meet a horse on the road."
Will Drivers Pay Attention?
Whether drivers will listen to the messages is another matter entirely. When people are in a rush to get to work or to deliver their kids to school on time, all sense of reason seems to fly out of the window.
The Highway Code
The British Horse Society has also been working with Conservative MP Jake Berry, who has been campaigning to have more information added to the highway code. As teh vast mjority of new drivers ready this, it is the best place to feature information about safe driving around horses.
High Visibility Jackets
The BHS is encouraging all riders who use public roads to wear a high visibility jacket. This won’t stop drivers from behaving like idiots but will at least help to ensure that they see horses and riders at the earliest opportunity. Riders should also acquaint themselves with the rules of the road.
Report All Accidents Involving Horses
Anyone involved in an accident whilst riding on the road should report the incident to the BHS . The statistics may make unpleasant reading but it is vital that they are accurate so that further improvements to road safety can be made. Safety is unlikely to improve if road users are lulled into a false sense of security, whether they are driving a car or riding a horse.
The BHS also have an which shows reported incidents across the country. You can view where, when and what type of incident occurred.