The Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has been awarded The British Horse Society (BHS) Tarquin Trophy, recognising its ‘excellent service’ in the cause of equestrian safety.
The award recognises that Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership has gone ‘above and beyond’ to share advice and guidance to drivers in Warwickshire to improve road safety in the equine community.
This includes regularly raising awareness through the media and social media of the updated Highway Code, which explains how drivers and motorcyclists should safely pass horses by slowing down to 10mph and allowing two metres.
The partnership has created three animated clips for social media, as well as two videos (with the support of the Project EDWARD film crew and The British Horse Society).
The videos have reached more than 11,000 people on social media and are available to access on the partnership website and YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, at a recent Operation Close Pass event, the partnership joined forces with a police mounted volunteer Lynda – and her horse Murphy – to test how well the public understood the new Highway Code rules.
While the majority of drivers complied, Warwickshire says it will continue to promote the importance of passing wide and slow by working with livery yards across the county.
As part of this work, the partnership has distributed 62 of the British Horse Society’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign boards – and is in the process of allocating a further eight. It keeps five to help explain the initiative at events such as horse shows and yard/venue visits.
Philip Seccombe, Warwickshire police and crime commissioner and Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership chair said: “[This award] demonstrates that by working together to improve road safety in Warwickshire, road safety partners really can achieve great things.
“Equestrians are some of our most vulnerable road users and as a police and crime Commissioner of a largely rural county, I know how important it is to help them be safer and also feel safer on our roads.
“The partnership has put considerable effort into its education programme to raise awareness of the dangers horse riders face, the responsibilities all road users have to share the roads safely and to help riders be highly visible.”
Warwickshire says it knows incidents involving horses on the roads are under reported and encourages equestrians to report incidents to The British Horse Society Horse i app.
It also promotes Op Snap to equestrians to encourage them to submit helmet cam footage of potential moving traffic offences. Evidence is reviewed by a police officer and submitters are informed if the case can be progressed or not.