June 3rd, 2021
Play Your Part and Let’s Take Care of Horses and their Riders

Horses and their riders can be vulnerable on the road; a collision involving a horse and a vehicle can have life threatening consequences for the horse, the rider as well as the vehicle user.


The British Horse Society estimates that in the 12 months up to 28 February 2021, there were over 1,000 incidents on UK roads involving horses. Unfortunately, this resulted in 130 people being injured, 46 horses being killed and a further 118 horses sustaining injuries.


Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager and  Chair of Road Safety Wales said:


"As responsible road users, we all have a role to play in helping to reduce those incidents. Horses are large, powerful animals with flight instincts and even the most experienced horse can be spooked, especially near fast-moving traffic or when there are sudden loud noises.


Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said:


“We encourage all road users to be courteous and patient with one another whilst sharing the roads. It is vital to remember that horses are flight animals, and may move quickly away from what they perceive as a threat. Drivers should slow down to a maximum of 15mph when they see a horse on the road, be patient and not sound their horn or rev the engine, overtaking only when it’s safe to do so, leaving at least a car’s width if possible and then drive slowly away.


The British Horse Society always recommends wearing hi-vis clothing when riding or carriage driving, regardless of the weather conditions, time of day or whether riding on or off the road. By wearing hi-vis clothing you are alerting road users to your presence and allowing them extra time to react, ensuring they can slow down in an appropriate amount of time. By ensuring you remain visible at all times, you are increasing your safety and potentially saving the life of both yourself and your horse. It is important that we all do our best to ensure that we remain safe while on the road.”


As you travel along the roads of Wales, be aware of other road users and especially on rural roads take each corner slowly, with caution, expect the unexpected and be ready to react calmly and with patience if you encounter a horse and it’s rider.


You can play your part by giving a few moments of patience and quietness as you safely overtake a horse and its rider.


The BHS reports that 80% of incidents occurred because a vehicle passed by too closely to the horse – something which is completely unacceptable and easily avoided.


Let’s take care of horses and their riders by respecting our fellow road users and playing our part to reduce the number of these incidents on the roads of Wales.

Thursday, 03 June 2021