Hold your Horses, Drivers

The keen reader might remember that in last month’s blog we talked about the benefits of reporting incidents on the BHS Horse i app. The data collected by the app supports both local and national campaigns for equine safety – in particular their Dead Slow safety campaign.

We are currently seeing too many reports of road traffic incidents involving horses, so this is particularly relevant right now.

Launched in 2016, Dead Slow looks at ways to improve both horse and rider safety on the road. It provides education to drivers on how to pass horses safely, encourages riders to take measures to protect themselves, and works with MP’s, the police and road safety partnerships to drive community awareness and improvements.

Last year the Government undertook a review of the Highway Code. With the support of Dead Slow and the data gathered through Horse i, the BHS have been heavily involved as a member of the Highway Code stakeholders focus group. Acting as a voice for the horse community, the BHS suggested some significant amendments to the code. These amendments were laid before parliament in December and, we are pleased to report, due to be implemented by the end of January!

BHS Director of Safety Alan Hiscox told Horse & Hound of the changes, “I was dancing a little jig when I read them!” Adding, “this will be a major step for the safety of horses on the road.”

Some of the most significant changes are:

  • Drivers are advised to pass horse riders and horse-drawn carriages at 10mph or less
  • Drivers are advised to give riders at least two metre’s space when passing
  • Riders will be considered alongside cyclists in a new hierarchy of road users
  • Clarification that horses should never be passed on the inside
  • Feral or semi-feral ponies require the same consideration as ridden horses

You can read more about the upcoming changes to the Highway Code, and Mr Hiscox’s response in this article of Horse & Hound.

The horse welfare crisis in this country continues to escalate and, on the back of the pandemic, Remus continues to exist literally from one day to the next. To make a donation please visit our appeal at:  www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/rmhs/cryforhelp.

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