Equisafety join road safety campaigner in movement for safer roads for horse riders
written by Roberta Coll
Equisafety, the UK’s largest specialist in high visibility equine wear, have joined forces with an innovative road safety campaigner, Debbie Smith, who constructed the petition to ‘Make it law to pass by a horse wide and slow and abide by horse riders hand signals’.
The campaign has already attracted an impressive 88,691 supporters. Debbie, from Penzance, contacted Equisafety as she already wore a lot of the products and asked them for their support in which they willingly gave.
Equisafety are supporting Debbie by promoting her crucial campaign via popular social media platform, Facebook, in order for it to reach the widest audience possible. Equisafety have released a fluorescent waistcoat that implements Debbie’s operation, clearly displaying on the back ‘Please pass wide and slow’ with a 15mph sign directly underneath. The waistcoat retails at £24.99 and can be purchased from Equisafety’s website or via Everything Horse.
As part of Debbie’s tireless campaign she travelled to London to meet with the transport minister, Andrew Jones, and she is now working with him to try and increase road safety for riders, on both A and B roads.
The original campaign was created by Debbie herself, she explains what brought about the campaign:
“I have been a horse rider my whole life and have seen, first-hand, the dangerous consequences driving past a horse recklessly, can have for everyone on the road. I have been involved in too many near misses while on my horse who, as a result, has become nervous of cars approaching us too fast and too close”
She recognises that riding on our roads is becoming increasingly dangerous:
“The roads are becoming busier, faster, there is heavier traffic on rural roads, tractors are getting bigger all the time. The roads are getting more and more dangerous. Please help sign this petition to make driving past a horse wide and slow a legal requirement.
“More than 4,000 horse riders and carriage drivers were admitted to hospital between April 1 2011 and March 31 2012 from injury in a transport accident.
“We as riders need protection by the law; we need to stop the incidents. Lives of horses and people are being lost. We could put an end to this if we could by STOP a car when we need to”
Debbie has also enlisted the assistance of a local high school pupil, Keri Mills, who has designed leaflets to help raise awareness of the campaign. She also has a DVD which the ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) will use to educate drivers, which Debbie recognises as a pivotal movement in order to achieve safer roads for everybody. Postal services have also contacted Debbie with an interest in getting hold of the DVD. Infamous Equestrian suppliers, Harry Hall, have invited Debbie to come on tour with them to help gain signatures for her extremely worthwhile petition.
From all here at Everything Horse we would like to thank Debbie and Equisafety for all the hard work they’ve done on behalf of the equestrian community, in order to make the roads a safer place for everybody.
We encourage everyone to watch this invaluable short clip on road safety:
And most importantly, to sign this essential petition:
Equisafety’s 15MPH Please pass wide and slow waistcoat, available here: https://everythinghorseuk.co.uk/horse-tack-online-tack-store/?model_number=equisafety15mph