Danger! Horses on the road

  • Motoring group claims Highway Code offers “inadequate” advice about horses on the road, as BHS launches new courses for Riding and Road Safety trainers

    A motorists’ road safety organisation has criticised the Highway Code for offering “insufficient guidance” on driving past horses on the road, after more than seven horses were killed on Britain’s roads last year.

    A recent article in The Guild of Experienced Motorists magazine, Good Motoring, highlighted the plight of riders on the roads and the lack of information available for drivers.

    “The Highway Code’s advice to drivers when meeting horses on the road is pitifully inadequate,” says David Williams, chiefexecutive of the Guild of Experienced Motorists. “It simply advises drivers to be careful around horse and riders, especially when overtaking, without explaining the reasons why or what to avoid doing.”

    “Few drivers realise that riders are noton the road by choice, but are forced there by the lack of bridleways. Even less drivers understand how easily a horse can be upset by ‘normal’ driving habits, such as signaling with your headlights, or the reasons why it is sometimes necessary for riders to ride two abreast.

    “However, the onus should not be soley on the driver. Riders should also act responsibly by wearing high-visibility clothing and undertaking training, such as the British Horse Society’s Riding and Road Safety test.Riders should also thank drivers with a smile, nod or raised hand when treated courteously.”

    The GEM would like to see the Highway Code updated with more information on how to treat horses on the road and is considering launching its own bookleton the subject.

    “The only way to reduce the horrific number of road accident involving horses, is through education on both sides. A little care, courtesy and concentration by riders and drivers alike could go a long way in improving relations.”

    To find out more about The Guild of Experienced Motorists, visit www.gemrecovery.co.uk

  • Click here to read about new courses for riding and road safety trainers from the BHS.
  • Click here to read the results of HHO’s survey which asked riders if they had suffered road rage while out hacking.
  • Click here to read about a driver who was fined £750 for reversing into a racehorse during a road rage incident.
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