Horse riders raise awareness for road safety near Sheffield

Riders took to the roads last week to raise awareness on how motorists should safely pass horses.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:04 pm
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:04 pm
Pass wide and slow ride 2021

The 13 riders from Stubley Hollow Farm in Dronfield rode for about three miles last Sunday to raise awareness for horses and horse riders’ safety on UK roads. There have been almost 200 of these rides in the UK and Ireland.

Terri Amber, one of the organisers of the ride, said that the aim of the ride was to “promote an awareness of how to safely pass horses on the road amongst drivers”.

"Most incidents and accidents on the roads involving horses were caused or exacerbated by a motorised vehicle passing too close,” she added.

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13 riders rode through Dronfield to raise awareness for how to safely pass horses on the road

Terri said that hey were asking drivers to be patient, take their cue from the rider’s hand signals or verbal requests, and pass wide and slowly, ideally at a two-metre distance.

“The majority of drivers are not malicious, just ignorant,” she added.

Terri believes that the law should be more protective of horses and drivers should be educated more about the issue with malicious drivers being punished.

The British Horse Society found that about two horses a week were killed on UK roads in the last year. The charity also say that there have been 1,037 incidents involving horses on the road in the last year, with 81 per cent of these occurring due to drivers passing too closely.

Speaking about the awareness ride, Terri said most motorists, including bus and lorry drivers, were “patient and courteous”.

However, there were some drivers who were less respectful, edging past and overtaking fast, with one driver who “honked their horn then “verbally abusing” a walking member of the team who went to speak to her.

"We would like to avoid the busy roads altogether, but the bridleway system is fragmented. There are more cycle routes being developed, but horse riders and carriage drivers are often left out,” she added.