‘Go slowly and wide’ warning sign posted in the village of Banbury as part of the Riders Safety Campaign

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Drivers are encouraged to stay alert to riders on county roads, as part of a joint safety campaign by the Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service and the British Horse Society (BHS). Image of Oxfordshire County Council

Drivers are encouraged to stay alert to riders on county roads, as part of a joint safety campaign by the Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service and the British Horse Society (BHS).

“Go slow and wide” warning signs will be placed at hot spots regularly used by riders, where there is a record of reported incidents involving riders and road traffic. The signs will be erected either temporarily for major equestrian events, or more permanently. They are already in place at the following locations: Sibford Ferris (Main Street), near Banbury, Wootton Village (junction with Old Boars Hill Road, near Middle Farm Livery) on Lovegrove’s Lane and near Checkendon Equestrian Center ( six miles west of Henley).

Andy Ford, Head of the Road Safety Education Team at the Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This safety initiative is about protecting everyone on our roads. ; drivers and riders. I encourage anyone who owns a vehicle to think about the devastating consequences if they hit a horse, or if passing at high speed frightens the animal; the rider injured or killed as a result. These signs will help you think.

Statistics released by the British Horse Society (BHS) in March revealed that road incidents involving horses and vehicles remain a problem in the south of England, with 117 incidents reported to the equine charity in 2020-2021 . Overall, incidents in the south of England fell only 9% from the previous year, despite the lockdown reducing road traffic levels.

The BHS has compiled statistics to understand the rate of incidents involving horses on UK roads. Of the 1,010 reported, 80 percent are due to vehicles passing too close. The association has launched a new free safety application, Horse i, which allows riders to report incidents.

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– Slow down to a maximum of 15 mph

– Be patient – “I’m not going to sound my horn or run my engine”

– Pass the horse wide and slow, (if safe) at least the width of a car if possible

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at the British Horse Society, said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Oxfordshire County Fire and Rescue Service to take action to improve road safety for horses and riders across the county. We hope these signs will make a difference for riders in the region.

Andy Ford added, “Our road safety campaigns are already reminding drivers that there are many dangers and obstacles that could lurk around the next turn, whether it’s a horse and rider, a cyclist, a broken down tractor or vehicle. Anyone behind the wheel should ask themselves if I am driving appropriately for the road conditions, weather and my visibility based on how far I can see ahead of me? “

Horse owners can also play their part in making sure they are wearing proper safety clothing and high visibility gear to draw attention to their presence.

The new BHS Horse i security app is free to download from the Apple Store and Google Play. Riders who do not use smart phones can register incidents through the online form on the BHS website.

Residents can request “go slowly and wide” warning signs through their local parish council or by email [email protected] to Oxfordshire County Council.


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