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Community / Dead Slow: appeal to drivers to slow down to 10mph when horses are on the road

MOTORISTS are advised to take extra care when passing horses and horse riders on local roads.

Director of safety with the British Horse Society (BHS), Alan Hiscox, is in the isles this week to promote the society’s Dead Slow campaign which aims to increase road safety for horse riders, horses and drivers.

Two years after the Highway Code was updated to specifically describe how horses and horse drawn vehicles should always be passed wide and slow, just 20 per cent of drivers are aware of these new rules, BHS research suggests.

Hiscox said: “The message is quite clear; we want drivers if they see a horse on the road slow down to a maximum of 10 miles per hour.

“Don’t sound your horn or rev your engine, and when safe to do so pass wide and slow with at least two metres distance and drive slowly away.”

When putting these new rules to the test on the A971 at Weisdale on Monday afternoon most drivers slowed down considerably when they notice the two horses and riders on the road.

One driver came to a standstill to allow them all to pass.

Hiscox continued: “Sixty six horses were killed on the roads last year because vehicles were passing too fast and too close, so this is a really important message that is going to increase the safety of horses, riders and carriage drivers but of course drivers themselves.”

He and local road safety trainers Susie Nicolson and Mandy Sutherland will be visiting a number of local primary schools over the coming days to teach about safety around horses.

Increasing the safety of horses, riders and drivers (left to right): Susie Nicolson, Anna Sutherland, Alan Hiscox and Mandy Sutherland with Toby the horse. Photo: Shetland News

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The Dead Slow campaign will be hosting a public meeting in the Whiteness and Weisdale Hall on Wednesday, starting at 7pm.

Hiscox said the BHS would also encourage people to download the ‘Horse i’ app and use it to report accidents with horses, as well as incidents that could potentially have resulted in injury to horse or driver.

Any such information would be fed into an incident map, Hiscox said, which then could be used to lobby police and local authorities on road safety issues.

Incidents involving horses and riders should also be reported to the police, he added.

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