A Cheshire rider is campaigning for wearing hats while riding on the roads to be a legal requirement.
H&H reader Emma Egerton set up the petition to the government after seeing a number of people riding without hats on the lanes in her village near Macclesfield.
Mrs Egerton says she angry about the number of incidents involving horses and cars in the village.
“As riders we are constantly having to encourage car drivers to slow down and pass us with care,” she said.
“Not wearing a hat gives the wrong impression to drivers so other riders may suffer because of it.”
Mrs Egerton argued that if a rider is injured in a road accident, more than that person are affected.Some people argue ‘it’s my head and my choice’ but I strongly believe it’s not really about the rider’s personal choice, it’s more about the other people it affects,” she said.
“Which member of the public has to choose how best to help if you come off? Which family member has to choose whether or not to turn off the life support machine?
“We want to get the petition seriously acknowledged. If it is made a legal requirement then just perhaps a few more lives might be saved.”
If the petition can get 10,000 signatures the government will have to consider it. More than 100,000 signatures are needed for a petition to be debated in Parliament.
Under current law only children under 14 must wear a helmet on the roads. The hat must comply with current regulations and be fastened securely.
Mrs Egerton’s petition reads: “There are some riders who choose not to wear a riding hat whilst riding on the roads. This choice could be a fatal one and if simple legislation can prevent more deaths on our roads to horse riders then it gets my vote!
“The impression it gives to other road users means they are less likely to pass you in a suitable manner. This legislation could save lives.
“The use of a riding hat has been proven to help prevent severe head injuries and it could mean a less traumatic experience for anyone involved with helping the injured rider.“
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NFU Mutual equine specialist Victoria Walton said: “It is a legal requirement for children under 14 years of age to wear a hat whilst riding on the road, but we would always advise any rider to wear a helmet whilst mounted and when handling horses and ponies from the ground.
“Our horse and rider policy requires the insured person to take reasonable care to prevent any accident, illness or damage, this includes adhering to any legal requirements.”
To sign the petition, click here.