Horse & Hound reported this week on a new survey being run by The British Horse Society (BHS) aimed at helping shape the charity’s future road safety campaign work. It has been described as “a major piece of research” and riders, carriage drivers and those who have to take horses on public roads are being invited to take part.
There has been a noticeable increase in horse and rider accidents and incidents on roads and there are some areas where it is just not safe to ride on the roads for even a short distance. Sometimes it is unavoidable, as in having to reach bridleways or other places where it is safe to ride, but riders feel increasingly uncomfortable about it.
What is more shocking is that riders report other road users deliberately driving at them, injuring horses and riders. There seems to be little in the way of prosecutions to deter drivers from this sort of behaviour. Riders and carriage drivers are now taking to wearing headcams in case they are involved in an accident so as to ensure there is evidence.
BHS director of safety Alan Hiscox said the society secured £50,000 in funding from the Department for Transport last year.
The BHS said:
“Our “Dead Slow” campaign has significantly raised awareness of the dangers posed to horses and riders on the roads, but we are looking to build on this with more statistics and a greater understanding of the concerns and experiences of as many equestrians as possible,”
“The grant is for research into why riders do not report incidents and working on outcomes to encourage more people to report. This also includes an upgraded reporting system and the launch of our new Horse ‘I’ app, launched in March,” he said.
The app allows equestrians to quickly and easily submit details of incidents that have negatively affected their safety including problems on the road, slippery road surfaces, dogs or fireworks.
The project started in June 2020 and this is a final survey is to gain insight from the equestrian community. Riders can report any problems with a road or off-road user, slippery road surfaces, dogs, low-flying aircraft, nuisance drones or similar
The BHS need as many people as possible to complete the survey to get as much information as possible. The findings will be shared later in the year.