Bus drivers in the London Borough of Havering have been reminded of the need for special care when overtaking horses on the roads.
There are 12 riding schools and livery yards in the London Borough of Havering where it is estimated that more than 400 horses are housed.
The initiative came about following an incident in Hornchurch last month when a horse that was being exercised took fright at the sound of air brakes on an approaching bus, and as a result was involved in a collision with a car.
The rider wrote to Transport for London, the British Horse Society and the local Go-Ahead bus garage at Rainham, calling for drivers to be made aware of the need to look out for horses and to approach them with caution.
Safety officers at the bus garage responded positively and produced a poster about the need for special care when overtaking horses on the roads.
A month later, James Parker, the British Horse Society road safety rep for London, and councillor Wendy Brice-Thompson, who represents Havering on the London Road Safety Council, went to the garage to talk to drivers about how to pass horses safely, and to hand out copies of the ‘Horse Sense’ leaflet.
Councillor Brice-Thompson said: “It is estimated that every day in the UK there are eight horse-related accidents on the roads. I urge riders to wear hi-viz so that drivers can see them from some way away and this in turn allows drivers to slow down, and pass wide and quietly.”
James Parker added: “I applaud the positive response of the staff at Rainham Bus Garage to this incident.
“Drivers showed a lot of concern and interest in the subject and Go-Ahead London clearly take road safety very seriously indeed.”