Riders saddle up for speed protest

12.00 | 3 October 2016 | | 1 comment

More than 200 horse riders took to the streets of Nottingham on Sunday morning to protest for a change in the law relating to vehicles passing horses. (Nottingham Post)

The riders were part of the ‘Make it Law’ campaign, which is calling for a mandatory 15mph limit when motorists pass people on horseback, along with a minimum passing distance of two meters.

Founded earlier this year, the campaign is backed by Nottinghamshire County Council, who provided a £540 grant to provide reflective armbands for local horse riders, which contain medical information and emergency contact numbers.

On the day itself, riders made their way from Nottingham Castle to Wollaton with marshals holding up traffic to allow the group to pass along the busy roads.

The protesters hoped that by holding up traffic they will send a clear message to drivers to slow down when they see a horse and rider on the road.

Penny Stocks, event organiser, told the Nottingham Post: “It’s not just in Nottingham where this is a problem. Drivers even overtake us when we’re overtaking a parked car ourselves. They wouldn’t do that if it was another car.

“All it takes is for something to come out from behind the car and the horse will take a step away from it.

“As a horse rider myself I’ve had some scary incidents with speeding cars, including one car which was so close to my horse that it ripped off one of its stirrups. We were lucky not to have been seriously hurt.”

Data released earlier this year by the British Horse Society (BHS) shows that between November 2010 and March 2016, 36 riders were killed as a result of road incidents involving horses that were reported to the charity.

The charity also received a total of 2,070 reports of road incidents involving horses during the same period.

As a result, the BHS launched the ‘Dead Slow’ campaign which also urges drivers to slow down to 15mph when they meet a horse and rider on the road.

The Highway Code currently tells drivers to ‘be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly’.

Picture: Make it Law campaign via Facebook.




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    Wouldn’t such inconsiderate driver behaviour be already covered by ‘driving without due care’ etc or ‘anti-social driving’ (S59 Notice)? I know it would be a subjective judgment, but I doubt it would be possible anyway to provide acceptable evidence of a particular speed in such circumstances.

    Some would ask ‘what’s the point..no police around to enforce anyway’, but I think more and more horse riders have head-cams, which could better record inconsiderate driving than a spot-speed.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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