Arundel & South Downs MP, Andrew Griffith, joined with horse riders at Gaston Farm in Slindon to support the ‘Pass Wide and Slow’ campaign on Sunday (18th September).
The local group of horse riders were raising awareness around horses and riders on the road as part of a national safety awareness campaign.
The campaign aims to reduce the number of accidents involving horses by making motor drivers aware of the dangers of frightening horses by driving too close and too fast past them. More than 200 rides took place around the UK asking drivers to pass all vulnerable road users wide and slow.
Andrew spoke to the riders abut their own experiences. They shared concerns that riding is becoming increasingly less safe due to increased traffic, and by drivers who are unsure how to approach horses safely. Sadly, 11 riders were killed and 116 seriously injured across the UK last year as a result of collisions with vehicles.
Debbie Smith, founder of the Pass Wide and Slow campaign, said:
“The Pass Wide and Slow rides are about raising awareness in drivers on how to pass horses safely and reminding riders to wear hi-vis and head cameras, be polite and keep themselves safe — it’s a two-part thing and has to be about awareness all round.”
Andrew Griffith said:
“This important campaign – especially for rural areas where we have many more horse riders - is an important reminder of road safety. Horses can be unpredictable which is why it is vital that drivers understand how to approach a horse with caution and keep everyone on the road out of danger”.
If anyone wishes to get involved then please see the Pass Wide & Slow Facebook group where there are details of all the rides planned, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on creating a ride.