Rider dies after fall from horse on the road

  • A woman has died after a fall from a horse on the road in Bedfordshire.

    Police are continuing to appeal for information following the incident, at just after 4pm in the Hatley Road area of Potton on Friday afternoon (2 November).

    A horse was found tacked up but wandering loose, and a woman in her 60s was found nearby with serious injuries.

    The rider was taken by air to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for treatment, but police confirmed she was pronounced dead on Saturday morning.

    Sergeant James Wood, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “Our thoughts go out to the lady’s family and friends at this difficult time.

    “While we have made good progress in our investigation, we are trying to piece together exactly what happened in this tragic incident.

    “There were a number of people in the area at the time, so if anyone saw or heard anything, please get in touch.”

    Anyone with any relevant information can contact the police through the force’s online reporting centre or by calling 101, quoting Op Lyreco.

    Highway Code

    H&H reported last month that the British Horse Society (BHS) was “disappointed” a review of the Highway Code announced on 18 October aims to “empower cyclists and pedestrians” – but does not mention riders.

    Guidance on how road users should behave in relation to those on bikes and on foot is to be considered.

    BHS safety director Alan Hiscox, who has been working with the Department for Transport (DfT) the DVSA and a range of other bodies on improving rider road safety, said: “Although the BHS welcomes the DfT’s measures to reduce accidents involving vulnerable road users, we’re disappointed this review contains no specific mention of the significant dangers faced by horse riders and carriage drivers on UK roads.

    “This is an opportunity to amend section 215 of the Highway Code, to include the specific advice to drivers in our ‘Dead Slow’ road safety campaign.

    “This advice focuses on driver education, as it is clear from the hundreds of incidents reported to us by equestrians that many drivers are simply unaware of how to safely pass a horse on the road. The guidance given in the Highway Code is fundamental in educating drivers about the needs of vulnerable road users, including horse riders, and we therefore hope this forthcoming review will not overlook this important opportunity to improve road safety for the UK’s 1.3 million regular riders.

    “The BHS does not want to feel that horse riders are the forgotten vulnerable road users.”

    Continued below…

    Nearly 3,000 incidents involving horses on the roads have been reported to the BHS since it launched its accident-reporting website in 2010.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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