Road Safety Wales is reminding drivers of their responsibilities when encountering horses and their riders using the road.
Last summer, Road Safety Wales commissioned new roadside posters to be produced to highlight the need for drivers to drastically reduce their speed to less than 10mph when approaching a horse and to leave at least a 2 metre (6ft) gap when overtaking.
The initiative originated in Carmarthenshire with the Council’s road safety team successfully launching a trial of roadside posters before the campaign was extended across Wales.
Brynna Taff Ely Bridleways RCT, a local equestrian group affiliated with The British Horse Society, held a Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Horse Ride in the Tonyrefail area on Sunday 18th September.
47 horses and one cyclist rode through the streets of Tonyrefail and surrounding areas along with 8 walkers. All wore black armbands and a black ribbon, and a minute's silence was observed in honour of the late Queen who was patron of The British Horse Society.
Remarkably, the youngest horse rider taking part was just 4 years old and the eldest horse rider was 84!
Road Safety Wales is highlighting the vulnerability of horses and their riders through a campaign which reminds drivers of their responsibilities when sharing road space with equestrian road users.
From the initiative’s beginning in Carmarthenshire, the new campaign posters, aligned to the latest Highway Code, have now been made available to all 22 Local Authorities in Wales.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of the partnership said, “Road Safety Wales is grateful to Carmarthenshire County Council for instigating a driver awareness campaign which can now be implemented across Wales, with the support of the Welsh Government.
Along with the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, the improving weather and lighter evenings will no doubt be inspiring many of us to get out and enjoy the picturesque rural scenery that Wales has to offer.
As well as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, horse riders are vulnerable road users but they can sometimes be overlooked as they don’t feature as highly in road casualties statistics.
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 (BHS) has launched the Ride Safe Award, a new qualification designed to help the UK's 1.3 million horse riders feel safer and more confident when riding out on the road.
Described as the equivalent to cycling's Bikeability scheme, the Ride Safe Award is endorsed by the DfT's THINK! campaign.
To launch the award, sports broadcaster Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and 18-year-old international dressage champion, Phoebe Peters took part in a Ride Safe demonstration to show the importance of being confident when riding out.
As the summer holidays are approaching, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is urging drivers to make sure their trailers, caravans and horseboxes are safe and legal.
The DVSA #TowSafe4Freddie campaign was launched in November last year and has been calling on drivers using a trailer to perform basic safety checks following the tragic death of 3-year-old Freddie Hussey.
Freddie was walking with his mother in Bedminster, Bristol, when a two-tonne trailer became detached from a Land Rover. The trailer mounted the kerb before hitting Freddie.
Please help to make transport by road safer for equines and their human handlers.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) and the British Horse Society (BHS) are working together to identify ways in which horse transport can be made safer. We believe that the experience of owners, riders and trainers can provide invaluable information.
The survey includes questions about your experience of transporting equines - whether they are transported for you or by you – and what measures should be taken to reduce the risks associated with transporting equines by road. The responses to the survey will be analysed and the key factors associated with best practice identified.
An event rider from the Newcastle Emlyn area is urging drivers to slow down and take care when they drive on rural roads, following an accident only five minutes from her home between the villages of Rhydlewis and Brongest last week.
It was originally thought that Sophie Spiteri had suffered a clot on the lung following her fall on the tarmac, but she came away with only minor injuries.
A knowledgeable horse woman, Sophie can be seen riding her retired race horses and youngsters daily around the country lanes of Brongest, the village where she lives. On her usual daily morning hack on her five-year-old thoroughbred gelding Gulliver, she was met by a white van, and Sophie says the driver made no attempt to stop.