Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has distributed 44 ‘Dead Slow’ boards to 32 equestrian yards across Warwickshire to support Warwickshire’s growing equestrian community and to help improve their safety whilst using the roads. The boards, produced in partnership with the British Horse Society (BHS) and Warwickshire Horse Watch, will be displayed on private properties where passing drivers can see them.
The boards ask drivers to please pass horses wide (2m) and slow (10mph or less).
This reflects the new 2022 Highway Code that is now specific about what drivers and motorcyclists need to do to safely pass horses:-
- Slow down to a maximum of 10mph
- Be patient, and do not sound a horn or rev the engine
- When safe to do so, pass the horse wide and slow (2 metres minimum if possible)
- Drive slowly away
Those travelling on two wheels such as off road bikes and motorbikes with a loud engine can be particularly challenging for horses. Please be prepared to stop and turn your engine off.
Cyclists passing a horse are asked to please be nice and say hi. Alert the horse rider you are there by calling out in advance, so the horse and rider have time to react. Don’t get too close and never pass on the inside of a horse. Slow down to a max of 10mph and stop if asked to do so before passing wide and slow.
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society said
“We are very pleased to support Warwickshire Horse Watch and Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership to take steps to improve road safety for horses and riders. Recently we attended a huge camping and caravan show at the NEC and spoke to over 500 drivers, many of whom aren’t involved in the equine industry, and only 21% knew about the Highway Code changes for equestrians. This is extremely disappointing and shows there is still a greater level of education needed. These road signs will be a critical part of this, generating greater awareness in the Warwickshire area.
“We also know that incidents involving horses on our roads are under reported both to the police and The British Horse Society, so to give us a better picture we are asking equestrians to use the BHS Horse i app to report incidents regardless of severity. This gives the BHS and road safety partners more information to be able to focus our resources where they are really needed, in order to best support equestrians.”
Members of the public can also report and submit digital footage showing potential moving traffic offences such as dangerous or careless driving to Warwickshire Police via Op Snap. The evidence will be reviewed by a road traffic police officer. Please visit our website for more info www.warwickshire.police.uk/OperationSnap.
During wc 24 April WRSP will also be promoting a series of short equestrian road safety video clips not just for drivers but for riders too asking them to follow some basic rules to help them be as safe as possible on the roads. Please help us share these on Facebook from @WarwickshireRoadSafety and Twitter @WarksRoadSafety.
Carol Cotterill of Warwickshire Police Rural Crime Team said
“Horse Riders have to use rural roads for a number of reasons, so we are asking other road users to always be on the lookout for them. Rural roads, in particular, can be narrower so expect the unexpected around the next corner and be ready to slow down and stop if you need to. Never be tempted to ‘squeeze’ past a horse on the road. Horses are large and unpredictable and by passing them too closely or too fast you are risking your own life as well as the lives of the horse and rider or carriage driver.”
“In 2022, nationally 69 horses were killed, and 139 riders were injured. Please help by passing horses safely on our roads to significantly reduce these numbers.”
The 44 ‘Dead Slow’ boards have been distributed across Warwickshire as follows:-
6 North Warwickshire (Nuneaton, Bedworth, Coleshill, Atherstone areas)
16 Mid Warwickshire (Rugby, Leamington, Warwick & Kenilworth areas)
22 South Warwickshire (Stratford, Kineton, Alcester areas)