BHS Dead Slow campaign launched

BHS Dead Slow campaign launched

Photo credit: Equisafety 


The BHS released new statistics from their latest rider safety survey. In the report, it was revealed that the majority of accidents happened in broad daylight with, ‘over 60% of incidents involving horses on the roads happen between 10am and 3pm.’

Despite the hazard perception test being a compulsory component of the DVLA’s driving examination, the BHS’s survey revealed that a staggering ‘2,070 incidents were reported in five years*; 1,158 of which happened between the hours of 10am and 3pm. 211 accidents occurred in June alone, making this the most likely month for this happening to occur.’ Such worrying statistics further highlights the importance of considerate driving and of high visibility clothing.

*All statistics date from November 2010 to 1 March 2016.

Children regularly accompanying adults on hacks on the roads and are equally susceptible to being injured. Considerate driving may involve reducing your speed, passing wide-and-slow, or simply turning off your engine as a horse passes by. A small gesture such as this may drastically reduce the chance of an accident occurring.

Drivers who selfishly speed past horse riders and show little care for the horse or rider often do not realise the danger they are also putting themselves in. A 16hh horse may roughly weigh 600kg; this weight, through the driver’s windscreen is enough to kill all parties involved.  To put that number into perspective, as noted by Blue Bulb Projects, ‘600 kilograms is about one and three tenths times the weight of a Grand Piano.’ The matter was raised in Parliament earlier today.


Accidents can be prevented, but for this to happen, both equestrians and other road users need to display courteous road usage and adhere by safety guidelines. The Government’s THINK campaign has outlined the following guidelines for horse riders and motorists:

Advice for motorists

  • Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary
  • Look out for riders' signals to slow down or stop
  • Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable
  • Don't sound your horn or rev your engine
  • Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.
  • On roundabouts, horse riders will keep to the left within the roundabout until reaching their exit, when they will signal left. They will normally signal right only when approaching exits they don't intend to use

Advice for horse riders

  • Always display fluorescent/reflective clothing on both horse and rider whatever the weather or light conditions
  • If at all avoidable, don't ride in failing light, fog or darkness. Avoid icy or snowy roads
  • If riding a horse that is not used to roads, ask a rider with a horse who is experienced and calm to accompany you
  • Never take a mounted group of more than eight horses on the road
  • If riding two abreast, move into single file as soon as it is safe for the motorist to overtake. Don't ride more than two abreast on the road
  • Always cross major crossings in a group, rather than trickling across one by one
  • Leave details of you

Finally, another’s bad road manners does not excuse your own. This would certainly not hold any weight in a court of law. The repercussions of injuring or killing another road user have a large rippling effect. One life is not destroyed in the process; many are. Please – think. The equestrian community thanks you in anticipation of your consideration.