Road incidents involving motorists and horses at Wisbech and near Ely feature in new safety campaign by Cambridgeshire Police
PUBLISHED: 15:03 07 February 2019
A new campaign to encourage motorists and cyclists to take care when passing horse riders follows a spate of collisions – including an incident near Ely and another at Wisbech.
In May 2017, a rider fell from their horse after a van passed them driving at 35mph on the A1101 near Wisbech. The horse rider suffered serious injuries.
And in March of the same year 2017 two riders fell from their horses after a car failed to reduce its speed and collided head on with them on Mepal Road, Witchford. One rider was taken to hospital but suffered no serious injuries.
As a result of the Witchford collision one of the riders was taken to hospital and one of the horses needed treatment but all recovered. The driver undertook a driver alertness course in lieu of prosecution.
Between April 2016 and December 2018, there were four collisions involving vehicles and horses in Cambridgeshire.
PC Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer at Cambridgeshire Police, said: “The optimum distance to pass a cyclist is 1.5m and we are urging drivers to approach horses with the same level of caution.
“Horses can be startled by many things, noise, ﬂapping objects, dogs barking, a bike speeding up behind them, a vehicle splashing through a puddle etc.
“These things can make a horse more difficult to control and cause it to ‘shy’ suddenly, possibly into the path of traffic. Look out for the rider’s signals and always take notice of a request to slow down or stop.
“We’d also encourage horse riders to use hand signals wherever possible.
“We’re encouraging all road users to make the roads safer for everyone - please share the roads safely and look out for one another.”
Police are urging road users to look out for horses on the roads as part of a fresh safety appeal.
Officers are asking those using the roads to approach horses with care using the same consideration as they would when driving past pedestrians or cyclists. Cyclists are being asked to slow down and pass wide.
The appeal, asking all road users to share the roads safely and look out for one another, comes under the same framework as Op Velo - an operation aimed at reducing the number of collisions involving cyclists on the county’s roads.
Cambridgeshire has joined with Bedfordshire Police which has had two collisions over the same period and with Hertfordshire where there have been eight such incidents.