Urgent appeal for riders to lobby MPs ahead of ‘crucial’ road safety debate

  • The British Horse Society (BHS) has issued an urgent appeal to riders to contact their MPs before a crucial debate on road safety this Monday (5 November).

    The parliamentary discussion will give MPs the chance to ask why the current review of the Highway Code “ignores” equestrians.

    H&H reported last week that the Department of Transport’s (DfT) plans to review the code were aimed at empowering cyclists and pedestrians, but there was no mention of riders.

    “Following the recent Highway Code review announcement, the BHS is urgently appealing to the general public to write to their MPs to ensure the safety needs of equestrians are not forgotten,” a spokesman for the charity said.

    BHS safety director Alan Hiscox had previously told H&H he was “disappointed” there was no mention of riders in the DfT’s announcement.

    “Now is a crucial time for constituents to write to their MPs to urge them to raise the question as to why the needs of equestrians were not referenced in the proposed review,” he said today (2 November).

    “To improve the safety of all vulnerable road users, it is vital MPs ask that consideration is given to review and strengthen the wording of section 163 of the Highway Code (overtaking) and section 215 (horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles).

    “The advice and guidance should not only explain why drivers should take extra care and slow down when passing horses but also the consequences of passing too close and too fast.”

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    The BHS has created a template email on its website, and riders can find their MPs on the parliament website.

    To date, according to BHS statistics since the launch of its accidents website in 2010, 237 horses and 40 riders have died as a result of their injuries following road incidents, while 899 horses have been injured. The statistics show that 85% of these incidents are because drivers pass too fast or too close – and the BHS has evidence to show that only one in 10 incidents is reported to the charity.

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