A new road safety campaign is calling on horse-riders and other road users to share the roads safely.
The appeal comes as a recent survey of over 1,700 horse riders, reveals that four in five (85%) horse riders experienced an incident when on the road with their horse, with 12% of those incidents resulting in injury to either the horse or rider.
The Irish Horse Representative organisations, together with the RSA and An Garda Síochána are appealing to drivers to slow down and pass wide when they encounter horse riders and their horses on the road.
Road users and riders are being urged to follow this advice when sharing the roads:
- Always make sure that drivers can see you at all times regardless of weather conditions.
- Wear proper protective gear, high-visibility clothing and put high-visibility equipment on your horse and give clear hand signals.
- Remain on the left-hand side of the road when riding your horse and on the right-hand side when leading in hand. When leading your horse, position yourself between the horse being led and the traffic so that you have maximum control over the horse.
- Give clear and accurate hand signals to let other road users know your intentions.
- Remain alert, attentive, and observant. Remember the Life Saver Look at junctions – it could save your life.
For road users:
- Be alert when approaching riding schools, racing yards or places where horses are likely to appear.
- Take special care when overtaking horses or horse-drawn vehicles. This is particularly relevant at junctions where motorists are advised to keep a safe distance from horses and riders.
- Pass by slowly, driving wide of the horse and ride, while obeying the rider’/s hand signals
- Don’t use your air brakes, horn or lights in a way that might startle or blind a horse.
- Cyclists should approach cautiously, ensuring that the horse rider can see or hear you approaching.