Scottish Fire and Rescue is teaming up with police and the British Horse Society (BHS) in an attempt to protect vulnerable road users including riders.

Firefighters will be touring events this summer with the aim of encouraging all road users to work together for their safety, “with a particular focus on horse riders who routinely use rural roads”.

Watch manager Susan Maxwell told H&H there have been some “particularly bad” recent road incidents involving horses, including two equine deaths.

“I’m a rider myself and I know how hairy it can be on the roads, even if you’re in all the high-vis gear possible,” she said.

“The aim of this campaign is to educate drivers and vulnerable road users themselves, about interacting more safely.”

Ms Maxwell said the Be Safe – Be Seen campaign bus will feature posters and copies of articles on road incidents, and that members of groups including the BHS and running and cycling clubs will be on hand. The fire service’s full-size model horse, used for rescue training, will also be present, decked out in high-vis gear supplied by Equisafety and Harry Hall.

Messages to riders will include the importance of wearing high-vis, as although it is not compulsory, the lack of it could affect the outcome of any legal case following an incident.

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Dumfries and Galloway SFRS officer Hamish McGhie said: “Protecting the public and communities from harm is at the heart of what we do, and any death on our roads is one too many.

“Unfortunately, firefighters frequently attend road traffic collisions and see all too clearly the devastation that can be caused. We thoroughly believe prevention is key and that is why we are throwing our full support behind Be Safe – Be Seen.”

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