Image above for illustration only – Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund – Fun out hacking
Equestrians to be recognised as vulnerable road users in National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme courses
Safety needs of equestrians and their equine when hacking out has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of our minds when taking to the roads. Whether we be riding our own horse, or watching out for others on theirs, there’s more that can be done when it comes to driving awareness to non equestrian road users on the importance of slowing down and driving safely when meeting a horse and rider on the road.
The British Horse Society (BHS) and UK Road Offender Education (UKROEd) have today announced that equines and equestrians will now be identified as vulnerable road users in National Driver Offender Retraining Schemes (NDORS).
Drivers who participate in the retraining courses are now educated on how to pass equestrians and equines on the road responsibly; something both groups have been collaborating on over the past year.
The four ‘Dead Slow’ behaviour change messages for drivers are: if I see a horse on the road, then I will…
1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
2. Be patient; I won’t sound my horn or rev my engine
3. Pass wide and slow (at least a car’s width)
4. Drive slowly away
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety for The British Horse Society said:
The British Horse Society has been working with NDORS for some time now and as a direct result of these conversations, NDORS will be including horse riders as vulnerable road users within all of their courses, including the Speed Awareness Course.
This is a really positive step forward for the safety of horses on the road and another example of how the BHS is well placed and connected to major stakeholders in the road safety community. This inclusion not only directs our safety messaging to a key audience but will instil confidence in many equestrians across the country who often fear they are the forgotten vulnerable road user”.
Ruth Purdie, Chief Operating Office for UKROEd said:
UKROEd who are the providers of the NDORs courses can confirm that every course mentions the requirement for safety when passing or considering vulnerable road users groups.
A key priority in the group is “horses and horse riders” and I can confirm that everyone attending a course will be reminded of their obligations under the Highway Code and the specific laws covering their actions in relation to this vulnerable group of riders and animals.”
NDORS offer a range of courses which aim to cover most low level moving traffic offences. The scheme is operated across the country on behalf of the police service who outline the type of offender and the offence(s).
The inclusion of equines and equestrians as vulnerable road users within the courses provide a platform to promote the BHS’s ‘Dead Slow’ road safety campaign messages. The charity launched the campaign in 2016 to educate drivers on how to safely approach horses and riders using the roads.