Riders aim to boost road safety for horses

By Michael Upton | 19/05/2017

Riders aim to boost road safety for horses

HORSE riders will be trotting out this weekend to take part in a new campaign to raise road safety levels.

A ten-mile ride will pass through Bolton-Upon-Dearne, Adwick-Upon-Dearne, Harlington, Barnburgh and Goldthorpe on Sunday to promote the Pass Wide and Slow initiative.

The campaign was initially started by horse riders in the south-west in response to the increasing number of accidents involving horses and their riders on the roads and has spread across the country.

Horse rider Alexandra Bottomley said: “I was both surprised and concerned learn that there is no legal requirement to govern how motorists should conduct themselves and their vehicles when encountering and passing equestrians on public roads.

“At present there is only guidance contained within the highway code to advise road users of safe and appropriate conduct in these situations, something which is not legally enforceable in its own right.”

The British Horse Society reports that there have been over 167 reported road incidents involving horses and riders in Yorkshire over the past five years, resulting in the deaths of two riders and nine horses.

A petition was started in 2015 for presentation to parliament requesting that legal standards be introduced requiring motorists to slow to a maximum speed of 15 mph when encountering horses and their riders on the road and to give two metres of clearance when they pass.

The petition has been signed by more than 107,000 people to far and is due to be presented to the House of Lords after the general election for debate.

Alexandra added: “A large number of riders have expressed interest in joining the awareness event on Sunday.

“Our event is one of three scheduled in Yorkshire and 20 nationwide, taking place simultaneously.”

To find out more about the campaign, look for Pass Wide and Slow on Facebook.

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