A road safety awareness Ride and Driveout will take place in Carrigart and Downings tomorrow, Sunday 25th September at 2pm.
This year’s event is in fond memory of the late Eddie O’Kane who has supported many such road safety events.
Last year organisers had a very successful PWAS (Pass, wide & slow) campaign, hundreds of events were held all over Ireland and the UK.
Donegal saw 10 local horse riders and 5 carriages take to the roads around Carrigart and Downings to help educate motorists on how to safely pass horses on our roads that we share together.
Organiser Esther Jean O’Kane said that unfortunately, many people are unaware of how to safely pass horses on our roads.
By abiding by the RSA rules of the roads we are promoting responsible use of the road network by all road users including those riding, driving or leading horses.
The following is advice for motorists and other road users; most collisions on the road involving horses happen when the horse is struck from behind. Horses and their riders are extremely vulnerable in a collision and can be seriously – sometimes fatally – injured.
* You must always be careful when passing horses and riders on the road. A horse may startle. The rider may be a child or an adult in training.
* Never pass unless it is safe to do so. Be alert and cautious when approaching riding schools or places where horses are likely to appear;
* Take special care when overtaking horses, especially loose horses or horse drawn vehicles. This is particularly relevant at junctions where motorists are advised to keep a safe distance from horses and riders; slow down to at least 20km when approaching a horse and rider.
* Be prepared to stop and let them pass; you must obey a signal to slow down or stop from someone in charge of a horse. They may know about a potential hazard which you cannot see or hear.
* Please pass by at a distance of 2 metres slowly, driving wide of the horse and rider;
* Don’t use your horn or lights in a way that might startle or blind a horse. This could cause the rider to lose control of the animal;
* If you are carrying a roof load or towing a trailer, take special care when passing horses;
* If you drive a heavy goods vehicle, know the dimensions of your load. Be aware that the sound of airbrakes might startle a horse;
* show courtesy to riders and their horses, and take steps to minimise engine and other noise when passing safely.
Let’s all enjoy our roads together safely.