Lincolnshire Police have been helping to raise awareness for a new road safety campaign by the British horse society.
Drivers have been urged to slow down to 15mph when they come across a horse in the road.
Dead? Or Dead Slow? As the campaign is called, has revealed shocking new statistics showing the danger horse riders and motorists face.
Since the launch of the charity’s website five years ago, over 2000 incidents have been reported, including over 180 horse deaths and 36 rider deaths.
Over a quarter of respondents also stated they had to deal with driver road rage during the incident. 90% of respondents were also women.
The campaign is launched following the death of Wil, beloved horse of carriage master Mark Evans, when their funeral procession was hit by a vehicle. (Graphic content warning)
BHS Director of Policy has said: “We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road. A lot of people aren’t sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and so we have produced a video showing exactly how it should be done.
It’s worth remembering that these statistics are just the accidents reported to us, there will be countless others. Almost everyone who rides horses can recount a story about a time they had a near miss on the roads.
We are campaigning for legislative change, but that can take a long time. That is why we are asking for this instant change in behaviour from drivers.”
Carol Wilson, of Lincoln’s Park Riding school, is in support of any campaign that raises awareness, but feels more should be done. “I think a more visual campaign is needed on the roads… there are an awful lot of drivers who are totally unfamiliar with horses. It kills a horse and the damage to a vehicle is horrendous. At the end of the day any manner of things can startle an animal – a big animal as well as a small one. I don’t think motorists think – or think they can go past quickly and nothing’s going to happen. The general public are so unknowledgeable sometimes. “
Lincolnshire police have tweeted the warnings to motorists, and has also offered advice to riders to wear hi-vis and to signal to kind drivers.
The campaign video has offered the following advice if you encounter a horse on the road:
1) Slow down to 15mph
2) Be patient, don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
3) pass wide (at least a car’s width)
4) Drive slowly away
Please drive carefully, and if you are a rider, be sure to report any incidents to the police immediately. Helmet cameras are highly recommended, and if you don’t have one, try and catch the registration number of the vehicle.
Featured image: credit to Angela N. Flickr. Link