Ashby: North West Leicestershire officer sees first hand how badly motorists react to horse riders

By Graham Hill

29th Sep 2021 | Local News

A North West Leicestershire Police officer saw at first hand how badly drivers in the area react when passing horse riders.

Earlier this month, PC Emma Holmes of the Rural Policing Team, took to the roads on horseback around the Ashby area with a group of women who were all taking part in the national Pass Wide and Slow campaign.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness about how drivers should pass horses safely on the roads.

But, during her ride, PC Holmes came across the following behaviour from motorists which caused concern:

  • Overtaking at speed.
  • Pipping of horns.
  • Motorists passing but leaving just a small gap between themselves and the horses.

A message on the North West Leicestershire Police Facebook reads: "Horses are large, powerful animals and it can take something small such as fly tipping or a dog barking to frighten a horse and it will naturally want to move away from it and this could put them straight in the path of a moving vehicle.

"Thankfully Swadlincote's SNT came to the rescue and assisted in escorting her and the other ladies on horseback down the road following the difficulties mentioned above and funnily enough a difference in behaviour was noted on the road.

"In light of that witnessed and experienced by PC Holmes and the thoughts and concerns of others involved, we would like to provide the following tips for all road users passing horses -

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph.
  • Watch out for any signals given by the rider.
  • DO NOT sound your horn or rev your engine.
  • Pass the horse wide and slow and gently accelerate after you have passed.
  • If you are a cyclist, try and alert riders to your presence by calling out and asking if it is safe to pass.
  • If you ride a motorbike, they often have noisy engines that can cause alarm, try and keep them as quite as possible when passing.

"For those of you that use the road on horseback, here are some tips for yourselves also -

  • Wear hi viz and reflective equipment on both yourself and your horse.
  • If your horse is nervous in traffic, try and ride out with a more experienced horse.
  • Carry a mobile phone for use in an emergency, but remember it is not safe to use your phone whilst on the road.
  • Keep to the left hand side, never ride more than two abreast and go single file around bends.
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Highway Code to make sure that you follow the guidance on how you should behave on the road and interact with others through signals and showing courteous behaviour."


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