The British Horse Society (BHS) has created a 360-degree “virtual reality” film as part of its ongoing campaign to improve horse and rider road safety.
To raise awareness of the issues riders face on the roads, the BHS unveiled the short film in parliament on Wednesday (13 June).
Since it launched its Dead Slow campaign in 2016, the BHS has been working with a wide variety of organisations on passing horses safely, helping train lorry drivers, lobbying parliament and contributing to new guidance for drivers.
This latest film aims to show drivers what it is like to be riding a horse when a car passes too fast or too close, or both.
“Viewing the film gives you the alarming first-hand experience of being on a horse as a vehicle passes too close,” said a BHS spokesman. “The film also demonstrates what drivers experience when approaching a horse in a vehicle that is going too fast.”
The footage also features BBC Sports presenter Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes driving as she explains the four key Dead Slow messages: to slow down to a maximum speed of 15mph; to be patient and refrain from sounding the horse or revving the engine; to pass the horse wide and slow; and to drive slowly away.
BHS safety director Alan Hiscox said: “We believe that we can tell drivers how to behave around horses and they will forget, we can show them and they will remember, but if we involve them with our VR film they will understand.
“This film is ground-breaking and means we can go to any driving event and involve drivers in a unique way.”
The National Equine Forum president spoke on road safety at the end of yesterday's meeting
Essex-based campaign group Canewdons Equestrians has created the short documentary
‘It will certainly help drivers spot riders and give them more space’
The BHS’s horse accidents website recorded 2,902 road incidents involving horses from November 2010 to March 2018, including any near-miss or collision with a horse.
Since the website was launched, there have been reports of 39 riders killed and 230 horses killed or put down owing to their injuries.
In 85% of these incidents, the vehicle has passed too close or too fast to the horse.
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