The British Horse Society is delighted to announce that there are to be radio and television announcements explaining to motorists how to treat horses on the road. The "ads" are being made by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) in response to requests by the BHS. They will be distributed to radio and television stations around the country for them to use as and when they please.
There are over 3000 accidents a year involving horses on the roads, and the BHS has been running a campaign to try and get the message over to motorists why they should pass horses wide and slow. In a survey by the BHS, 20% of riders had had an accident and a further 40% had experienced a near miss. One third of riders had been subjected to road rage.
The radio announcements have already been circulated, and the television "ads" will be shown in the Spring.
Sheila Hardy, BHS Head of Safety said: "This is a real breakthrough. Both radio and TV are very powerful media, and this is a real opportunity to explain to motorists - with understanding comes consideration. Once drivers begin to understand that trying to squeeze past a horse at speed in the face of oncoming traffic is endangering the life of the rider, and indeed themselves, we will begin to see a reduction in the number of accidents. We are grateful to the DTLR for their commitment to reducing road accidents involving horses."
No rider will ride on the road from choice, but lack of suitable off road riding and carriage driving routes means that they have no alternative. The BHS works hard to open up more bridleways and byways in order to get riders off the roads.
" Pass horses
wide and slow - horses may be easily startled.
" Wear hi-viz
gear at all times.