H&H speaks to the British Horse Society’s director of safety and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme governance manager about the latest inititatives that are taking place to help educate drivers...
The exemplary passing of a horse by an Asda delivery driver – which prompted the rider to shop online for the first time – is an example of how work on improving road safety is having an effect.
Joanne Alexander-Sefre was riding with her daughter Azar in Essex, on 3 June when they heard a vehicle approach from behind.
Joanne told H&H they were on a double bend, on which she has had bad experiences.
“But this driver was exceptional,” she said. “I thought ‘there you go, Asda, you’ve got my business’!” Joanne, who had never ordered groceries online, booked a slot as soon as she got home.
“If this one good driver helps get them business, and publicises in a very positive way how important it is to drive carefully around horses, it’s a win-win!” she said. “I will now always comment to companies whose drivers drive well as it is such a positive message.”
British Horse Society director of safety Alan Hiscox was delighted to hear of Joanne’s experience. H&H has previously reported on Mr Hiscox’s work training drivers for companies including supermarkets.
“We really need to get the message out about the work we’re doing, with a lot of big companies,” he told H&H.
“A lot more drivers are aware how to pass horses safely, and a lot more riders realise the work we’re doing to keep them safe.”
Mr Hiscox also cited the BHS’s partnership working with driving instructors’ associations, police forces and the government, including the fact the society is on the Highway Code review group.
“We get riders contacting us to say a certain driver was very good; we encourage them also to let the companies know, as that’s really important,” he said, adding that letting the BHS know the reverse is also important. One company has signed up to the training after a rider reported one of its drivers passing badly.
“If riders report these incidents to us, we can do something about it,” Mr Hiscox said.
He also added that the BHS gave a presentation to the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), gold membership of which, he said, is a “big tick in the box” on safety for companies.
FORS governance manager James Tillyer told H&H the service was initially London-focused but now has some 5,000 members across the country, some of which are keen for it to focus more on rural road issues.
“Alan’s presentation was well received and got a lot of people thinking, and I’m keen to keep that up,” he said.
Mr Tillyer explained that members have to undergo e-learning courses, but there are none covering horses, an omission he is keen to rectify.
“I’d like to work with Alan, and there seems a good appetite for it,” he said.
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