Horse riders and drivers targeted in road safety campaign


Cutting the number of injuries and deaths involving horses on Scotland's roads is to be the focus of a new road safety campaign.

Police Scotland say they want both riders and drivers to be able to use the country's roads safely.

Since 2010, two riders and 10 horses have been killed in accidents on Scotland's roads.

The British Horse Society, which collated the figures, also report that 50 riders and 43 horses were injured.

The new safety campaign, Lose the Blinkers, is aimed at all road users.

It will see plainclothes police officers from the mounted branch patrolling a number of areas, particularly on the outskirts of large towns and cities, and recording incidents of bad driving on camera.

'Mutual respect'

Drivers will be stopped and educated in the hazards of passing horses incorrectly before an enforcement phase is introduced in November.

Insp Janet Dickie, from Police Scotland, said those behind the wheel should give horses and their riders as much room as possible.

"We recognise the vulnerability that horse riders experience on our roads and this campaign is aimed at both riders and those who may come across them, as we all share the same road and need to show mutual respect.

"All road users deserve to travel safely - some people are put off from riding as they fear being involved in a collision and many riders are deterred from riding on the roadway for fear of them or their horses being seriously injured or killed.

"I am urging all drivers to give horses as much room as possible when you pass, as failure to give sufficient space is considered careless or even dangerous driving and drivers face prosecution for failing to do so.

"Likewise, I am urging all horse riders to make sure they are as visible as possible, particularly as the days shorten, by wearing high-visibility clothing, using lights and giving clear signals."

The campaign will also appear online and leaflets will be distributed among the riding community.

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