68 horses killed on Britain’s roads in 2022 and 139 riders injured

A TOTAL of 68 horses died on Britain’s roads final 12 months and 125 have been injured, regardless of adjustments to the Freeway Code geared toward bettering their security. Two extra horses have already been killed on the street in 2023, in accordance with the British Horse Society (BHS), which launched its 2022 statistics on 29 January.

The figures, described as “stunning” by BHS director of security Alan Hiscox, present that nearly 10 incidents have been reported for each day final 12 months – a complete of three,552. This can be a 21% total enhance from 2021, when 66 horses have been killed. The variety of horses injured has decreased barely, from 129, however the variety of riders injured has gone up from 126 to 139.

“Horses are nonetheless being killed and injured on our roads, riders proceed to be significantly injured and too many drivers underestimate the significance of driving fastidiously round horses,” Mr Hiscox stated. “That is detrimental to the protection of equestrians. You solely have to have a look at the 2 horses who have been tragically killed in simply two weeks initially of 2023.”

Mr Hiscox advised H&H he feels “frustration and disappointment” on the stats, particularly after final 12 months’s Freeway Code adjustments, which state that horses must be handed at a most 10mph and not less than two metres’ distance, and put riders above vehicles within the new hierarchy of street customers.

Mr Hiscox stated that when the BHS security group had a stand at motor exhibits final summer time, they spoke to guests in regards to the adjustments.

“At Silversone, 76% of individuals we spoke to didn’t find out about them, and at Goodwood, it was 87%,” he stated. “The AA did a survey and over 60% of drivers have been unaware. For these first three months, we thought, ‘That is truly going to make a distinction’ however have been very dissatisfied. So we’re calling for extra to be accomplished. We’re a part of the susceptible street consumer group and I used to be actually inspired we have been put alongside pedestrians and cyclists within the hierarchy of street customers, however that message continues to be woefully lacking from a lot of drivers’ information.”

The BHS shall be among the many organisations asking for an even bigger push on the adjustments; it really works with Highway Security GB, street security partnerships throughout the nation, driving instructors’ associations and plenty of extra.

Mr Hiscox stated the plan is to maintain pushing the BHS Lifeless Sluggish marketing campaign to as many individuals as doable. And in addition to extra motor exhibits this 12 months, the stand shall be at occasions such because the NEC Caravan, Tenting and Motorhome Present subsequent month, which is anticipated to draw some 100,000 guests, and driving instructors’ conferences. Extra “shut cross” occasions are additionally anticipated to be run with police forces.

“It’s making an attempt to get the knowledge, information and understanding out to encourage that fascinating behaviour,” Mr Hiscox stated. “The Freeway Code change was a seismic step to extend the protection of horses on the roads, nevertheless it must be strengthened on a regular basis and that’s what we’re pushing for. The AA says it, Biking UK says it; the general public marketing campaign wasn’t adequate. The figures and the lack of awareness are stunning.”

The BHS has lengthy urged riders to report all incidents on the roads; it believes solely 10% of incidents are reported by way of its web site, however a few of the enhance this 12 months could also be all the way down to extra folks doing so by way of its devoted Horse i app, which was launched in March 2021.

“The extra incidents which can be logged, the extra the BHS can do to guard the rights of horse riders on Britain’s roads,” a BHS spokesman stated.

A DfT spokesman advised H&H the Freeway Code adjustments’ intention is “to enhance security for folks biking, strolling and horse using, and we invested over £1.3m in our THINK! marketing campaign which has elevated consciousness and understanding of the adjustments during the last 12 months”.

“We’ve labored carefully with a gaggle of stakeholders representing all street customers to develop the marketing campaign, with many additionally supporting the marketing campaign on their very own channels,” he stated.

He added that DfT stats present that 83% of street customers had heard of the adjustments by final August, and that they’ll proceed to be promoted by way of the THINK! social media. The DfT will take a look at “additional marketing campaign exercise in future”.

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