Campaign to reduce horse-related incidents and fatalities on Scotland's roads

Drivers are being urged to humanise horse riders after new statistics revealed 165 incidents and two horse fatalities across Scotland were reported last year.

Mark Dowie
Friday, 1st July 2022, 3:00pm
Campaign to reduce horse-related incidents and fatalities on Scotland's roads

And while at the lower end of the scale, the number of reported incidents in Angus still increased to six in 2021 from two in 2020.

Overall, incidents in Scotland have increased by 255% in compared to 2020. Lanarkshire was the worst area with 40 incidents and one horse fatality, followed by Ayrshire – 18 incidents.

Road incidents involving horses and vehicles continue to rise across the UK, with a total 2943 incidents reported to the equine charity in 2021.

Of the 2,943 total reported, 85% of them occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely.

The British Horse Societh (BHS) has now launched a new campaign, ‘Look Out for Laura’, with two new videos to educate and encourage drivers to safely pass horses on the road. The videos tell the story of two horse riders who rely on riding as a way to de-stress from their hectic working lives. Both encourage drivers to really think about how they look at, and empathise with, horse riders.

A change in attitude is more important than ever, with more than 500 horses reported to be killed since 2010. The charity’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign was launched to help better educate drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road.

In line with the new Highway Code changes, it consists of four key behavioural messages: Slow down to a maximum of 10mph; Be patient – I won’t sound my horn or rev my engine; Pass the horse wide and slow, at least a car’s width if possible; Drive slowly away.

Alan Hiscox, BHS director of safety, said: “The number of incidents involving horses on Britain’s roads remains far too high. It is, therefore, vital that we continue to urge drivers to be more considerate when passing horses and aware of how to do this safely.

“Riding helps people from all backgrounds and walks of life, particularly when it comes to relieving stressful and difficult situations. We need to push awareness of this.”

Further information can be found on the BHS website at Riders are also encouraged to report incidents at or through its app Horse i.

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