Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership raises awareness of horse road safety with Project Edward
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Warwickshire Road Safety partners are raising awareness of how drivers, cyclists and bikers should safely pass a horse and rider on the roads by joining together to create a new online video in partnership with the Project Edward (Every Day Without A Road Death) team.
The Project Edward team joined Warwickshire Police, Warwickshire Horse Watch and The British Horse Society to create the film starring Petey a warmblood gelding that can be viewed here horse rider road safety film - YouTube
Last year nationally 66 horses were killed, and 126 riders (Source: BHS Horse i app) were injured and the film highlights how passing horses wide and slow on our roads can significantly reduce these numbers.
The Highway Code now recognises that those who have the potential to cause the greatest harm, have the greatest responsibility to reduce the risk that they may pose to others.
The Highway Code is now specific about what drivers need to do to safely pass horses:-
Slow down to a maximum of 10mph
Be patient, and do not sound a horn or rev the engine
When safe to do so, pass the horse wide and slow (2 metres minimum if possible)
Drive slowly away
For motorcyclists, as soon as you spot a horse ahead:-
Slow down to 10mph and be prepared to stop
Don’t rev your engine or sound your horn
Pass the horse wide and slow if safe to do so,
Ride slowly away
Off road bikes and motorbikes with a loud engine can be particularly challenging for horses. Please be prepared to stop and turn your engine off.
Cyclists passing a horse are asked to please be nice and say hi:-
Alert the horse rider you are there by calling out in advance, so the horse and rider have time to react.
Don’t get too close and never pass on the inside of a horse
Slow down to a max of 10mph and stop if asked to do so
Pass wide and slow
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety, The British Horse Society said
“Eighty per cent of incidents reported to us are because of vehicles passing horses either too close or too fast so we are asking drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists to do the right thing and slow down for these vulnerable sensitive road users.
“We know that road safety incidents involving horses are under reported to both us and our road safety partners. We are asking the public to please download the Horse i app from the BHS website and use it to report incidents to us to provide a true picture of what is happening on our roads.
“It's not just about drivers however. We also look at Horse and Rider behaviours too and offer the Ride Safe Award scheme to provide a foundation for any horse rider to be safe, particularly on the road.”
Warwickshire Police Chief Constable Debbie Tedds said “We are working as part of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership to deliver a number of road safety initiatives to help improve road safety for our more vulnerable road users.
“For horse riders, we are planning Op Close Pass so that officers can observe how drivers pass a horse and rider on the roads in a ‘real life’ scenario. Whilst good drivers pass horses wide and slow, we will be talking to those drivers that pass too close or too fast to ensure next time they pass safely.
“We are also encouraging horse riders and carriage drivers to submit any headcam footage of careless or dangerous driving they may have captured to Warwickshire Police via Operation Snap. The evidence will be reviewed by one of our road traffic police officers and you will be updated on the result. “
Emma Daniell, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire said
“To help new and young drivers develop their decision-making skills, we have worked with The British Horse Society to create the ‘What’s on your Horizon’ interactive road safety film.
“The film follows a young driver who is faced with a series of hazards including a horse rider on a single track, a blind bend and a school bus dropping off children, along his journey to collect friends for a party and tests their awareness of potential hazards.
"This is a really useful tool and we are encouraging everyone particularly young drivers to have a look at and test your skills.”
The What’s on your Horizon video can be viewed here https://www.whatsonyourhorizon.com/index2.html
These are just some of the initiatives Warwickshire Road Safety Partners are working on to support vulnerable road users. Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Philip Seccombe also has a£500,000 grant fund for initiatives tackling road safety, as part of his commitment to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.
The national launch of the new video coincides with Project Edward week starting on 17 October 2022, National Safe Speeds Day on 19 October 2022 and the national NPCC anti speeding campaign 10-30 October 2022.
Between 2018 – 2021 four collisions involving horses were reported to Warwickshire Police where 1 rider was seriously injured and 3 riders suffered slight injuries. Injuries to horses have also been reported to Warwickshire Police as a result of cars or a bus passing too close or too fast. Warwickshire Police also receive many non-injury reports from riders about speed, close pass, off road vehicles, close passing, dangerous driving, ASB and dogs.
Left to Right: Alan Hiscox of The British Horse Society, Emma Daniell of OPCC, Insp Chloe Barnes and Petey, Carol Cotterill, Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team and Warwickshire Horse Watch and Chief Constable Debbie Tedds