Riders bare all to raise awareness for horse road safety.

Horse riders across the UK are stripping down to their underwear and baring all in a move to raise awareness amongst motorists to slow down when passing horses and reduce the number of horse related road traffic accidents.

Riders bare all to increace horse road safety

The slow down for my horse campaign, aimed at getting other road vehicles to slow down around horses and improve horse road safety, encourages equestrians to post pictures of themselves and their horses with the hashtag #canyouseemenow.

The BHS (British Horse Society) believes horse related road traffic accidents to be significantly under reported. It is estimated that there were 183 horse related road traffic accidents reported on www.horseaccidents.org.uk in 2012. Of these, serious injuries accounted for :

  • Two rider fatalities
  • 12 severe rider injuries
  • 14 horse fatalities
  • Three severe horse injuries

Leisure riding is the most common equestrian pursuit and 46% of riders who ride once a week or less, cited access to safe off-road riding as a factor that would increase their riding opportunities.

The Highway Code outlines horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles as road users requiring extra care. This means passing wide and slow and paying attention to the riders signals. Remember, horses are free thinking animals and even the most placid can easily become frightened and spook, therefore a horse and rider should always be treated as a potential hazard. Taking the appropriate steps to slow down and pass responsibly won’t add more than seconds on to your journey and could save a life.

Horse road safety: Tips for passing a horse safely in a car:

  • If safe to do so, pass wide and slow.
  • If possible, turn off your engine, until the horse and rider have safely passed.
  • Pay attention to rider signals, waving an arm up and down means the rider is asking you to slow down, a palm out and towards you means stop.
  • Often a rider will know an area of road better than a driver, if the rider is continuing without signs of pulling over, it may mean they are riding onwards to a safe pull in spot for you to pass. Be patient and wait until it is safe to pass.
  • Do not beep your horn or rev your engine to alert a rider to your presence, as this may spook the horse and cause an accident.
  • A inexperienced rider or a rider on an inexperienced horse may ride two abreast, the least inexperienced on the inside. Be patient and only pass when it is safe to do so.

Horse road safety: Tips for riders

  • Make sure you are seen – use high-vis clothing on both yourself and your horse.
  • Be considerate – pull in where it is safe to do so and let vehicles pass.
  • If safe to take one hand off the reins, thank drivers that slow down. If it is not safe to take a hand off the reins, try and show thanks with a nod.
  • If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in  an incident, report it to the BHS.
  • If possible, try and remember details such as car colour, make and registration plate.
  • If speed is a frequent problem, ask the police to visit the area with a mobile speed camera.
  • If you are an inexperienced rider or on an inexperienced horse, ask someone with more experience or with a calm horse to hack out with you. You are allowed to ride two abreast with the inexperienced horse or rider on the inside.
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