Army of riders to join battle for safer roads this weekend

  • At least 20 groups of equestrians from across England and Wales will be riding out this weekend to raise awareness of road safety around horses.

    Riders from throughout the UK will be hacking out on Sunday (21 May) in a bid to improve conditions for horses on UK roads.

    The awareness rides stem from the Pass Wide and Slow road safety group.

    “The purpose of the rides is to draw drivers’ attention to the fact that horses are legitimate road users who need to be given appropriate consideration,” said Debbie Smith, who launched Pass Wide and Slow.

    “We usually have no choice whether to use roads to get from where our horses live to bridleways and other places to ride.”

    Rides will be taking place in the following counties: Cornwall, Essex, Devon, Gloucestershire, Burnham, Buckinghamshire, Nottinghamshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Pembrokeshire, Bedforshire, Powys, Flintshire, Swansea, Gwynedd and the Vale of Glamorgan.

    For more information visit the Pass Wide and Slow Facebook page.

    In September 2015 Debbie started a petition calling to make the guidance in the Highway Code about passing horses into a specific law.

    The petition now has more than 100,000 signatures and has been reviewed by the transport minister, who has shared his support for the campaign.

    Continued below…

    “As a group we encourage riders to use hat cameras to record evidence of drivers who do not adhere to rule 215 of the Highway Code by passing horses too close and too fast to be safe and by not responding to our requests for them to slow down or stop when necessary,” Debbie added.

    “We are also working with those involved in HGV driver training by providing a DVD and other material to help advise lorry and other professional drivers on how to drive when they encounter horses.

    “The group encourages all riders to use as much hi-viz clothing on themselves and their horses as possible to give drivers those valuable extra seconds in which to see us and slow down.”

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