Police stopped 30 drivers for passing horses inappropriately on the road — and five to praise them — as part of a regional safety campaign.
On 21 and 22 March, mounted officers from South Yorkshire Police were involved in initiatives in Doncaster and Sheffield to encourage drivers to pass horses wide and slow.
The force had been moved to act, to educate drivers, by the latest British Horse Society (BHS) road accident figures.
Mounted officers Rachael Hodgkinson and Tracy Brown worked alongside road policing sergeants Matt Duffy and Rob Jones, supported by Amy Clements from the BHS.
During the operation, 35 drivers were stopped and spoken to by officers.
Of these, 30 were spoken to about poor driving, lack of awareness or space, or overall behaviour when passing horses.
A further five drivers were stopped and praised for their actions.
“Over the past two days mounted officers and our police horses have taken part in this operation, but it is important to remember that not all horses and riders are as experienced as ours,” Sgt Duffy said.
“Even the most well-behaved horse can react in certain situations and unlike when passing a cyclist, there is an additional brain/reaction to take into consideration; horses can be unpredictable.
The BHS has released its most recent statistics on horse-related incidents
“I’m determined, to save horses’ lives and people’s lives, because no one deserves to lose their horse like I lost
“As a driver adhering to laws and advice, you are not only keeping the horse and rider safe, but you are also keeping yourself safe; a horse or rider falling on to your car can have devastating consequences.”
“Drivers need to provide as much space as possible when passing a horse, it is important that you slow down and keep your car as quiet as possible. Once you have passed the horse please remember to increase your speed slowly as you drive away,” he added.
“While driving on country roads, always think about what could be round the next bend and amend your driving accordingly.”
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