‘Horse riders have a right to be free of dangers on the road’: police highlight footage of poor driving

  • Police have shared “shocking” footage of drivers including one who overtook a horse and rider too fast and close, and must sit a driver education course.

    Vision Zero South West, a road safety partnership made up of organisations in Devon and Cornwall including the emergency services and councils, released videos submitted to Devon & Cornwall Police via the force’s Operation Snap initiative. This allows members of the public to submit video footage of traffic offences.

    Superintendent Adrian Leisk, Alliance strategic lead for roads policing, said the examples captured on camera show some “really poor driving”.

    One clip shows a driver overtaking a horse and rider at speed, on the B3285 Penhallow, Cornwall, which Mr Leisk said he was “really keen to highlight”. In this case the driver was not prosecuted but agreed to sit a driver training course instead.

    “Dashcams are not the sole reserve of vehicle users – we can accept footage from vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, riders, cyclists and motorcyclists,” Mr Leisk.

    “Horse riders, like cyclists, have a right to be free of the dangers posed by road users such as these. I’d like to remind drivers when overtaking cyclists or horses you must give them at least 1.5m of space and reduce your speed significantly when doing so, as the animals may react to danger and behave unpredictably, placing the rider at increased risk.

    “If it isn’t safe to overtake, please wait. Is it worth risking another human life to save a few seconds? If you place someone’s life in danger, there’s a strong chance you will end up being reported to us and facing the consequences.”

    Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly and chairman of Vision Zero South West, added all road users must learn to share public highways and treat each other with respect.

    “There’s no excuse for anything less,” she said. “Together with National Highways, my office has funded 170 dashcams to be distributed to companies across Devon and Cornwall that regularly travel around the region. This gives us 170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads to capture dangerous drivers and take action against them through Operation Snap.

    “With more people watching, the chances of bad drivers getting caught will increase. I hope this makes motorists more alert and in turn, will make our roads safer for everyone.”

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