New statistics released by the British Horse Society (BHS) show road incidents involving horses and vehicles remain a problem in the UK, with 1,010 incidents reported to the equine charity over the past year.
While the number of incidents decreased by 3% compared to the previous year, it is still worryingly high, especially considering the periods of lockdown which prevented riders from getting out over the last year. However, the number of horses that died on Britain’s roads almost halved during the same period
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 will allow riders to report incidents as soon as they get back to the yard.
The charity is urging drivers to be careful when passing those riding horses – an often-overlooked category of vulnerable road user – 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: “The number of incidents involving horses on Britain’s roads remain far too high, despite the time spent in lockdown over the past year. With 80% of the incidents reported to us having occurred due to vehicles passing too close it is evident that there is still a great need for better education on how to safely pass horses on the road.
“It is also deeply concerning that close to half of riders were subject to road rage. We all have a right to feel safe on the roads and no one should face abuse for exercising this right. Only 1 in 10 people report incidents to us and we hope the new BHS safety reporting app, ‘Horse i’ will encourage more people to report these incidents to us.”