Horse Road Safety Appeal is launched as survey reveals 4 in 5 riders have problems on Irish roads

Photography: Nick Bradshaw

THE Road Safety Authority (RSA), Horse Sport Ireland (HSI), Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and An Garda Síochána have come together to call for road safety calling on riders and other road users to share the roads by completely safe. The call comes as a recent survey of more than 1,700 riders found that four in five (85%) riders had an incident on the road with their horse, with 12% of those incidents resulting in injuries to the horse. or to the rider. .

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Irish horse representative organizations, along with RSA and An Garda Síochána, call on drivers to slow down and overtake when encountering riders and their horses on the road.

New survey finds cars and jeeps were involved in the highest percentage of reported incidents with horses on roads, while cyclists, vans, trucks and farm machinery account for an equal share of incidents remaining. The results led RSA, HSI, HRI and An Garda Siochana to call on all road users to familiarize themselves with the existing guidelines for best practice when encountering horses on the road.

Mr Joe Reynolds, Acting Managing Director of Horse Sport Ireland, said: “The results of this survey are quite striking, it is disturbing to think that 85% of those surveyed said they were involved in some form of road safety problem. as they rode Irish roads. We are happy to work with RSA to raise awareness about this and improve conditions for our members and all road users. By following a few simple steps you can protect yourself, your carriage, the horse, the rider and all other people around you.

Mr Brian Kavanagh, Managing Director of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “We have a proud tradition in Ireland of excellence in equestrian sport nationally and internationally. As a result, thousands of people across Ireland ride horses. All road users have a duty of care to share the road in a safe and socially responsible manner and we hope our members will take the time to familiarize themselves with best practices. “

Advising road users, Regina Staunton, Senior Road Safety Promotion Officer, RSA, said: “Motorists should be vigilant and reduce their speed when traveling in areas where horseback riding is popular or near riding schools. If you encounter horses, please do not use your horn, speedbrakes, or lights in any way that might surprise or blind a horse. This could cause the rider to lose control of the animal and lead to a serious incident, instead you should reduce your speed and go wide. Likewise, cyclists should approach cautiously, ensuring that the rider can see or hear you approaching. Riders should ensure that riders can see you at all times, regardless of weather conditions, making sure you wear appropriate protective equipment, high visibility clothing, and put high visibility gear on your horse.

Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry, Guard National Roads Police Office, An Garda Síochána said: “If you come across a horse and rider on the road, there are a few simple steps you need to take to ensure your safety, the safety of the rider and patient, be prepared to stop and let them pass, keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the horse, and obey all signals given by the rider. When overtaking a horse and rider, do not drive too close behind the horse and be sure to leave at least a carriage width between your vehicle and the horse when overtaking. When you have passed the horse, go slowly.

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