A SERIES of meetings and training sessions are being held across Shetland during the next few days to promote road safety for horse riders and drivers.
Local road safety trainer Susie Nicolson and the director of safety for the British Horse Society (BHS), Alan Hiscox, are hoping to raise awareness, foster mutual respect on the roads and educate drivers and riders alike.
Nicolson and Hiscox are also meeting local driving instructors, the council’s roads department, local politicians and, if possible with the local Police Scotland road safety officer.
With horse and pony riding being hugely popular in Shetland, motorists are likely to regularly encounter horses and riders on both double lane and single track roads.
Last year 87 horses died on British roads as a result of road traffic accidents.
The BHS’s Dead Slow campaign asks drivers to slow down to a maximum of 15mph when approaching horse and rider on a road.
It also requires drivers to be patient, not to sound the horn or rev the engine, and pass the horse at least at a car’s width.
Nicolson said the campaign was not just to raise awareness among drivers but also to educate riders of how to use the roads safely, which includes wearing high-vis jackets, helmets and generally being aware of traffic approaching.
“The Highway Code applies to riders as well,” she said, “and every road user has the right to feel safe.”
She said riders were entitled to use the road in double file – in fact, this is deemed to be much safer because horse and rider are “dominating the lane”.
However, riders needed to be aware of the traffic and be able to pick up trot to either get to the next passing place to let any approach car pass safely, Nicolson said.
“If young are on the road they should have someone with them who has been educated in the new BHS’s Ride Safe award,” she added.
Hiscox urged riders to report any road related incident they encounter to www.horseaccidents.org.uk and to local police.
Free Ride Safe training events over coming days are at: –
- Thursday 29 August:
6pm – South Whiteness Riding Club
7pm – at Brakes, Weisdale. All welcome.
- Friday 30 August:
6pm – Filsket Riding Club, Seafield, Lerwick
- Saturday 31 August:
2pm – Houlls Horses and Hounds, Bridge End, Burra
7pm – Social evening at Staney Hill hall, Lerwick, including a talk by Alan Hiscox on his 32 year long career as a mounted police officer in London. All welcome
- Sunday 1 September:
- 2pm – Whalsay Pony Club, Challister, Whalsay
- 7pm – Livister Youth Centre.
For more information please call Susie Nicolson on 07766 710909.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 400 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News