18,000-strong slow down for horses petition to be handed to transport minister

  • A petition launched by a Cornish rider calling for drivers to slow down for horses is being taken to the government next week.

    The petition, which was featured last month on H&H online, has now received more than 18,000 signatures since it was set up on 14 September.

    Debbie Smith was spurred on to launch the petition after numerous run-ins with drivers going too fast on the local lanes around Penzance.

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    The latest incident occurred in September when she was out hacking with her 17-year-old daughter.

    A car towing a small trailer stopped when the driver saw the pair riding.

    “As soon as they started to walk in single file he went straight past ignoring my hand signals to stop,” said Debbie.

    The incident was recorded on the camera on Debbie’s hat, footage that she is also presenting to the transport minister.

    She is delivering the petition to her local MP, Derek Thomas, on 20 November, who will be handing it to the transport minister.

    “The roads are becoming much more dangerous,” said Debbie. “There’s heavier traffic using the country lanes; drivers are going too fast and don’t slow down for riders.”

    This summer another campaign to encourage drivers to slow down for horses was launched by Kent-based rider Lauren De Gruchy.

    Hundreds of riders posted pictures of themselves on social media leading or riding their horse in their underwear with the caption “Will you slow down for me now?”

    Also this month Thames Valley Police launched an autumn safety campaign to help protect riders on the roads.

    The Bright Rider initiative promotes the importance of wearing fluorescent or high-visibility clothing when hacking out.

    “We want to encourage riders to take the proper precautions now we’re losing daylight,” officer Kevin Simmons told H&H. “We’re asking both drivers and riders to be considerate on the roads.”

    H&H readers are urged to record any road incidents on www.horseaccidents.org.uk so the British Horse Society can collate hard evidence to take to Parliament.

    Ref: H&H 12 November, 2015

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