New signs to educate drivers on how to pass horses safely on the road have been installed at a number of ‘hotspot’ locations across Carmarthenshire.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s road safety team has joined forces with the British Horse Society (BHS) to introduce the signs as part of the ‘pass wide and slow’ campaign.
According to the BHS, around 80% of incidents occur because a vehicle has passed too closely to the horse.
The signs remind drivers to leave a two-metre gap when passing – and to do so at no more than 15mph.
It is understood Carmarthenshire is the first local authority in Wales to install the signs on its roads, and it is hoped that other councils will follow suit.
Cllr Hazel Evans, executive board member for the environment at Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “I am delighted we are working with the BHS on this initiative.
“As a rural county, it is important that drivers are aware that there are likely to be horses on the road and that they treat them with respect by not driving too fast and giving them plenty of space.
“These signs have been put up in locations which have been identified as challenging by riders, following incidents reported to the BHS website. This is an issue throughout Wales, not just in Carmarthenshire, and it would be great to see other councils join this initiative.”
The BHS is encouraging riders to report road incidents.
They can do so by downloading the ‘Horse i’ app from the App Store or Google Play – or via the BHS website.
Alan Hiscox, director of safety at the British Horse Society, said: “I am delighted to see these new road signs being put in place highlighting that horses are being ridden nearby. At the BHS we have worked with many local authorities to place similar signs and the reduction in incidents being reported to us in these areas is staggering.
“If drivers follow the key messages of slowing down to a maximum of 15mph, being patient, passing the horse wide and slow and driving slowly away which are detailed on the signs then the roads in Carmarthenshire will become safer for both horse and drivers.”