Horse riders use bodycams and bibs to slow drivers

By Nicola Bryan
BBC News


Horse riders in the Vale of Glamorgan are wearing body cameras and high-visibility bibs that look like police uniform to slow down drivers.

Jocelle Lovell has been campaigning for drivers to "pass wide and slow" since her 13-year-old daughter was thrown from her horse in Penarth.

South Wales Police said the bibs were "clearly intended" to resemble police uniforms and "confuse" the public.

It said riders had been "abused" by the public because they felt "misled".

But an inspector has encouraged the use of cameras to capture evidence of poor driving.

Ms Lovell said some drivers "genuinely don't know what to do" while others "swear, beep horns and are abusive".

But Ms Lovell said the high-vis bibs with checks that "look a bit like police checks [are] quite good because it slows the traffic down and it also help people see us".

Insp Lisa Gore, from South Wales Police, said riders were encouraged to wear high visibility clothing but added that these particular bibs were "clearly intended to create a resemblance to mounted police officers".

She said they could "confuse the public and have created situations where riders have been abused by members of the public who feel they are being misled".

Insp Gore added: "Some riders have reported drivers sounding their horns and revving their engines to frighten horses because they feel misled.

"We want to ensure the public make an informed decision about wearing such clothing," she added.

Media caption,
Rider Jocelle Lovell: 'A lot of drivers don't know how to pass horses'

'Video evidence'

Ms Lovell always wears a body camera when riding and said other riders wore them on their helmets.

"If something happens we can give it to the police as video evidence," she said.

"It's a shame because it takes a bit of the fun out of riding."

She started wearing cameras after an incident involving her daughter, Chloe.

Chloe said: "I was riding along on the road... and a truck came past on the tightest part of this bend and instead of slowing down just zoomed passed.

"I ended up falling off into the middle of the road. He could clearly see me in the middle of the road but he just kept on going.

"It knocked my horse's confidence for quite a while."

Ms Lovell wants the Welsh Government to implement an annual public education road safety campaign to educate road users how to pass horses and riders safely.

The Welsh Government said it had met interested parties to discuss what could be done to promote safe driving when passing horses.

South Wales Police has reminded drivers of the importance of slowing down and passing with a wide space when over-taking horse riders.

A ride to raise awareness will start and finish at Cosmeston Farm Livery, Sully, Cardiff, on 21 May.

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