An online police reporting system is making it easier for riders to report dangerous or anti-social driving.
North Yorkshire Police is urging riders to report incidents as part of its ongoing Operation Spartan, which aims to improve attitudes and safety on the area’s roads.
The online form captures details of incidents and requests information such as vehicle registrations so police can carry out checks and follow up further if needed. Video clips and photos can also be submitted.
There have been more than 167 road incidents involving horses in Yorkshire over the past five years that have been reported to the British Horse Society. These include the deaths of two riders and nine horses.
Inspector Dave Barf, of North Yorkshire Police’s roads policing group, asked anyone who witnesses driving that gives cause for concern to report it.
“Every report and piece of footage that is submitted is assessed by experienced traffic officers, and appropriate action taken,” he said.
“This may be the registered owner of the vehicle is contacted by letter to suggest that their driving behaviour be amended to avert possible future collisions.
“More serious reports may involve a personal visit by police and could ultimately result in prosecution.
“If the anti-social driving behaviour results in an emergency or immediate risk, please use either 999 or 101.”
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Last month the first person was prosecuted as a direct result of a member of the public reporting dangerous driving through the Operation Spartan form.
This did not involve a horse, but police are using the prosecution to highlight how using the form is an effective way of reporting dangerous driving on the county’s roads.
“Vehicles being driven too close or too fast past horses is a major concern for North Yorkshire’s equestrian community,” said PC Hannah McPeake.
“Although rare, collisions can result in very serious injuries, and even near-misses can leave both horse and rider shaken and too frightened to ride on the roads again.
“That’s why we are urging riders to report instances of poor driving they witness, so we can take any necessary steps to increase the safety of horses on North Yorkshire’s roads.”
The Op Spartan driving concern form is available at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/road-policing/operation-spartan/
North Yorkshire Police is also backing the British Horse Society’s Dead Slow campaign and safety posters have been distributed across the area.
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