Mounted police teach Notts drivers a lesson to help stop horse and rider fatalities
Motorists were put to the test as mounted police patrolled 'high risk' areas to educate drivers on potential dangers when overtaking horses.
Nottinghamshire Police worked with colleagues from South Yorkshire Police and the British Horse Society (BHS) as part of the BHS’ campaign, Dead Slow.
The BHS recorded more than 400 road incidents involving horses between 2017 and 2018, 84 per cent of the incidents occurred because of a car passing too close to a horse.
Out of the 404 incidents, 74 horses were injured, 94 riders were injured and eight horses and one carriage driver were killed.
Last year, there was a 75 per cent increase in the number of reported incidents in Nottinghamshire and, across the East Midlands, there was a 14 per cent increase.
Des Payne, Safety Team Leader for BHS said: “Unfortunately riders and horses are being hit by vehicles - which are going to fast, to close or not paying attention.
“If you see a horse on the road - slow down to approximately 15mph be patient don’t sound the horn or rev the engine and overtake a cars width apart.
“It is fantastic working with police forces to make people aware through education.”
Two mounted officers from South Yorkshire Police patrolled areas which were identified as high risk and observed drivers passing dangerously.
Nottinghamshire Police officers then stopped those drivers and explained the risk to the rider, horse and car driver in passing too quickly or closely.
Chief Inspector Louise Clarke from Nottinghamshire Police said: “We incited the horse watch campaign in 2017 and that enables the equine community to have direct contact with police to report incidents.
“The main concern we have picked up is road safety - where drivers are passing horses too fast and too close.
“Horses are flight animals and can be easily spooked and that can have fatal consequences for the horse and or rider if they lose control.”
The operation, which ran between 1pm and 3pm on Thursday, December 20, took place between Wigsley and Harby, near Newark.