DRIVERS in Somerset are being urged to 'rein in' as incidents involving horses and vehicles are on the rise

The county council’s road safety team has joined with The British Horse Society (BHS) to highlight potential safety issues faced by equestrians on local roads.

The campaign aims to better educate road users on how to pass horses safely and encourage them to stick to the BHS’s Dead Slow behavioural change messages.

Cllr Mike Rigby, County Hall lead member for transport and digital, said: “Our highways should be safe for all road users, and this is a fantastic initiative to demonstrate how to share the roads safely with horse riders.

“Around 85 per cent of incidents involving horses on UK roads are caused when a vehicle passed too closely by the horse, therefore it is critical we leave at least two metres.

Dead Slow signs have gone up at key locations around the county to promote the message.

If you see a horse on the road:

  • slow down to a maximum of 10mph;
  • be patient, I will not sound my horn or rev my engine;
  • pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe to do so) at least two metres if possible;
  • drive slowly away.

The BHS also offers guidance that horse riders can adopt to keep themselves and their horses safe when out on the roads:

  • wear protective headgear to current approved standards - even on bright it is surprising how well a horse can be camouflaged against a hedge;
  • unless necessary, we highly recommend you avoid riding in failing light, fog or darkness or when it is snowing or icy;
  • show courtesy to drivers – a smile and a nod are enough if your hands are full;
  • take The British Horse Society Ride Safe Award.

Riders are encouraged by the BHS to report incidents via or through its app Horse i