MILLIONS of drivers are being directly targeted by the British Horse Society’s (BHS) new road safety campaign, with advertisements in petrol stations.
As part of Dead Slow, the BHS is taking out ads on pumps at 96 “major supermarket forecourts across the UK”, which the charity says has the potential to reach 9.2 million motorists.
The advertising campaign, which backs the BHS’s call for drivers to slow to 15mph when passing horses, was launched yesterday (11 April).
New statistics revealed by the BHS show that in the five years since its horse accidents website was launched, more than 2,000 incidents have been reported.
Of these, 36 involved the death of a rider and in 181 cases, a horse died or was put to sleep as a result of its injuries.
Three-quarters of accidents occurred as vehicles passed horses without allowing enough space.
BHS director of policy Lee Hackett said: “This petrol pump advertising campaign has the potential to reach millions of our target audience – UK drivers.
“By slowing down around horses, drivers can keep everybody on the roads safe; horses and riders as well as drivers and their passengers.”
On the day of the advertising launch, Liz Saville-Roberts MP submitted a motion to parliament on behalf of the BHS, asking for the government’s support in four areas: raising awareness in drivers of how safely to pass a horse on the roads; strengthening the provision of rider and carriage driver safety in the Highway Code; introducing a section of the UK driving test designed to raise awareness of riders and carriage drivers and considering whether it should be made compulsory for riders and carriage drivers to wear high-visibility gear when on the roads.
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Ms Saville-Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said: “I am delighted to be supporting the BHS’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign. 36 horse rider deaths on the UK’s roads have been reported to the charity in five years – this is 36 too many.
“I am calling on parliament to provide greater road safety measures for horse riders across the UK so that we can prevent more unnecessary deaths from happening.”
Horse accidents can be reported to the BHS via this website.