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Horse’s death leads to road safety campaign

Riders in South Tyneside are campaigning for safer roads, after horse was killed by a van on a blind corner last month.

The 16-year-old cob was killed and her rider, a 41-year-old woman, was taken to hospital with a broken ankle.

They were on the way to a local show on Sunday 13 July when the accident in Lizard Lane in Marsden, South Shields happened.

Local rider Nigel Oxman said he was nearly hit on a blind summit on the same lane.

“Everyone at the stables was up in arms and said something needs to be done,” he said.

Within 48 hours Mr Oxman had launched a safety campaign on Facebook.

Over 50 people including riders, farmers, police and members of the British Horse Society attended a recent meeting at Cleadon Methodist Church.

“Where I hack, the bridleways are overgrown and there is broken glass everywhere. We don’t have any Pegasus crossings in South Tyneside, but there are loads in North Tyneside,” he said.

Mr Oxman is campaigning to get the bridleways cleared, Pegasus crossings installed on the bad roads, and a 20mph speed limit introduced outside all livery yards and riding schools.

Educational video for drivers

He also wants to produce a hard-hitting education video showing the dangers riders face on the roads.

Mr Oxman hopes to get the video shown on local and national television and in schools around the country.

Bus companies and businesses with vans on the road will also be sent a copy.

The company, Gizapaw, is supporting Mr Oxman’s campaign and offering members discounts on all its high viz products.

Gizapaw’s tail sleeve (£49.95) and tabard (£39.95) are embroidered with a picture of a camera and words “Smile you’re on camera”.

The products are sold with a tiny camera either attached to the horse’s tail, the tabard or on the helmet, which can be used to record dangerous driving and show to police.

Director David Daly had already had the idea when he heard of a local rider who was knocked off her horse by the wing mirror of a lorry, whose driver failed to stop.

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