Sussex Safer Roads Partnership & British Horse Society work together in Sussex
SSRP were joined by The BHS, Plumpton College and the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining road safety for Vulnerable Road Users. During the week of action, SSRP conducted a Safe Pass event, specifically tailored to improve the safety of horses and their riders across Sussex.
New statistics released by The British Horse Society (BHS) have revealed a sharp increase in road incidents involving horses in the South East of England, with 83 incidents reported to the equine charity during 2020-2021. Incidents across the region soared by 27.7% compared to the previous year, despite lockdown restricting road use and public activities.
The BHS has collated incident statistics to understand the rate of incidents involving horses on UK roads. Of the 1,010 reported, 80% of them occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely and close to half were subject to road rage. The charity has launched a new free safety app, Horse i, which allows riders to report incidents as soon as they get back to the yard. The charity is urging drivers to be careful when passing horses on the road and encouraging them to adhere to its Dead Slow campaign messages.
Dead Slow was launched to help better educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road. The campaign consists of four key behavioural change messages to drivers:
- Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
- Be patient – I will not sound my horn or rev my engine
- Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
- Drive slowly away
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said: “The number of incidents involving horses on Britain’s roads remain far too high, despite the time spent in lockdown over the past year. With 80% of the incidents reported to us having occurred due to vehicles passing too close it is evident that there is still a great need for better education on how to safely pass horses on the road. It is also deeply concerning that close to half of riders were subject to road rage. We all have a right to feel safe on the roads and no one should face abuse for exercising this right. Only 1 in 10 people report incidents to us and we hope the new BHS safety reporting app, ‘Horse i’, will encourage more people to report these incidents to us.”
The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner attended the Safe Pass event, supporting the work of SSRP and road safety colleagues across Sussex. You can view the PCC’s video of the event below.
The new BHS safety app ‘Horse i’ is available to download for free from the Apple store and Google Play. Equestrians who do not use smart phones can record incidents via the online form at horseincidents.org.uk.