Milnrow & Newhey Bridleways Group holding road safety awareness ride on Sunday

Date published: 12 April 2019

Milnrow & Newhey Bridleways Group will be holding a ‘Pass Wide and Slow’ road safety awareness ride on Sunday (14 April), as part of a nationwide campaign.

The campaign has come via a petition to make it a legal requirement to pass horses slowly with a wide berth, in addition to other road users abiding by the rider’s hand signals, as horses can be easily scared by cars that don’t take care when passing them. 

The Highway Code warns motorists to 'be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly. Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider. Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard'.

References to ‘road’ generally includes footpaths, bridleways and cycle tracks, and many roadways and driveways on private land (including many car parks).

Alarming new statistics from The British Horse Society have revealed nearly two horses a week are being killed on UK roads, with 845 incidents involving horses and drivers reported last year.

In the last year alone, 87 horses and four people have been tragically killed whilst riding on the roads and 73% of incidents reported occurred due to vehicles passing by too closely.

In 2017, a horse was left with serious injuries after being hit by an impatient driver on Manchester Road in Castleton. Insufficient space was left when attempting to overtake a horse and rider plus a parked car.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the British Horse Society said: “The dramatic increase in incidents is of huge concern, but we are aware that only 1 in 10 accidents are reported to us, therefore these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. We will continue to promote our key Dead Slow messages and strive to ensure all vulnerable road users are kept safe.”

The BHS launched its ‘Dead Slow’ road safety campaign in 2016 to help better educate drivers on how to pass horses on the road:

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
  • Be patient – do not sound your horn or rev the engine
  • Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible
  • Drive slowly away

The Milnrow & Newhey Bridleways Group ride will start from Milnrow Memorial Park at 10.45am.

You can sign the petition at:

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