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Police take action against man who deliberately drove at riders

A driver who deliberately sped up and drove at three riders has been served a traffic notice by police meaning he could have his vehicle seized if he does anything similar.

Denise Richardson had been returning from a hack with her friend Connie and a young rider in County Durham on 14 July when they saw a car approaching them.

“A car with blacked-out windows came over the brow of the hill and stopped. I thought the driver was waiting for us but then all of a sudden he sped up and veered across the road towards us,” Denise told H&H.

“I asked him to slow down but as he passed the passenger stuck his fingers up at us.”

Denise, who was riding her 15.3hh Appaloosa gelding Puzzle, captured the incident on camera.

“I wasn’t going to report it but I posted the footage on a local Facebook group and lots of people said I should send it to the police,” she said.

“I didn’t think the police would do anything as the footage didn’t look as bad as it was but I sent it to our local station, Peterlee, on social media and I was contacted by an officer who said they were going to take it further.”

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary told H&H the driver of the vehicle was issued a traffic 183 notice. This means if he is found to drive in an antisocial manner again police can seize his vehicle. This doesn’t matter if he is driving the same vehicle, or a different one. It also means if the vehicle involved, an Audi, is found to be driven in an antisocial manner by someone else, the car can be seized.

Denise, who plans to organise a Pass Wide and Slow awareness ride on 21 May next year after this year’s UK-wide event was cancelled, said she believes many drivers still do not know how to pass horses and said there needs to be more about horses in the driving and theory tests.

“My husband Peter is a driving instructor and always speaks to his pupils about horses, but drivers should be made to answer questions about things like hand signals before they sit their test,” she said.

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“Lots of cars are very good but we do encounter at least one incident nearly every time we ride out and in this case I think the driver thought he was being clever. I work for the NHS and ride out to relax, I don’t want to put up with people shouting at us or driving at us – I don’t know why we can’t share the roads.”

Denise has urged others to report incidents.

“I was shocked how the police took it on,” she said. “They’ve been really helpful and from now on I will report everything.”

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