Thursday, 12 September 2013

Campaign to Keep Horse Riders Safe on Rural Roads

Horse riders have been deemed vulnerable road users by the Welsh Government.
They are listed in the vulnerable category alongside motorists, young people, older drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

The horse riders are named in Wales’ official road safety document which outlines the administration’s policy until 2020.

The document says horses and their riders, as well as carriage drivers, are vulnerable on the road network.
Cheval Liberte is based in north Wales and we welcome any approach to keep horse riders safe on the road.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents more deaths occur on rural roads than on urban ones. Rural areas have a larger number of horse riders using the roads.

The Welsh Government is keen to work with representatives of the horsing community to find out what their concerns are and adequately address them.

It is estimated that there are around three million horse riders in Great Britain and many of these, including children will ride on the country’s roads.

Horse riders are entitled to use the road and ROSPA argues that it is the responsibility of both riders and motorists to act responsibly.

Even though horses are big and strong they are still easily frightened.  In fast-moving traffic or anywhere where there are sudden loud noises, it's not unusual for a horse to panic, no matter how well trained they are. It is difficult to ascertain accurate statistics for road accidents involving horses. However, the British Horse Society estimates that there are 3,000 such accidents each year, around half of which occur on minor roads.

Speaking about the framework, Wales’ Transport Minister Edwina Hart said: “Working together, I believe we can improve upon the progress made and ensure that everyone is safe on Welsh roads.”