Dangers faced by horse riders using the roads – March 2017

Dangers faced by horse riders using the roads - March 2017
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Update 12th August 2019 – why are comments not allowed on this and other road safety-related videos on our channel?

It’s because of a combination of ignorance, arrogance and aggressive comment from those who would arbitrarily remove horse riders, cyclists and other vulnerable road users from our rural lanes. In this particular video, we were very helpful to those people by showing the relevant rule of the Highway Code at the beginning of the video so that those who were unaware that they have a responsibility to take care around vulnerable road users might benefit from this new knowledge. Unfortunately, the ignorant, arrogant and aggressive individuals (always male) still feel the need to attack those who have a right to use our local roads.

Motorists have all the motorways and major ‘A’ roads to themselves but a small and dangerous minority want it all and want those who get in the way of their rally driving fantasies out of the way. Such people feel that if a cyclist, horse rider or runner gets in their way on a country road, then it is their own fault if a car crashes into them. No, really – we do get such comments on our other videos and there are some sick and ignorant people who actually believe that. They don’t find out that they are wrong until they end up in court on serious charges.

Rural roads are shared spaces used for leisure purposes by people on horses, cycles and low-powered transport such as the old and disabled. Aggressive and dangerous drivers put lives at risk every day because they choose to ignore the official rules of the road.

High Definition video cameras arrived a few years ago and they have been a game changer. Aggressive, arrogant and dangerous motorists have been jailed because of their conduct recorded on those cameras. If you are a vulnerable road user, get that camera – it may not protect you from serious injury when a dangerous driver knocks you off your horse or your cycle, but it will ensure that justice is done and that dangerous people are removed from the roads.

The rules of the UK Highway Code relating to vulnerable road users can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway-code/road-users-requiring-extra-care-204-to-225

Driving offences involving death
The main types of driving offences involving fatalities are ‘dangerous driving’ and ‘careless or inconsiderate driving’. The driver’s behaviour is what is important, not what the driver believes. Someone may be committing a dangerous driving offence even though they believe they are driving safely.

What is ‘Dangerous driving’?
A person drives dangerously when:
• the way they drive falls far below the minimum acceptable standard expected of a competent and careful driver; and
• it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

Some typical examples from court cases of dangerous driving are:
• racing, going too fast, or driving aggressively;
• ignoring traffic lights, road signs or warnings from passengers;
• overtaking dangerously;
• driving under the influence of drink or drugs, including prescription drugs;
• driving when unfit, including having an injury, being unable to see clearly, not taking prescribed drugs, or being sleepy;
• knowing the vehicle has a dangerous fault or an unsafe load;
• the driver being avoidably and dangerously distracted, for example by:
• using a hand-held phone or other equipment
• reading, or looking at a map
• talking to and looking at a passenger
• lighting a cigarette, changing a CD or tape, tuning the radio.

Previously released one year ago, this updated video highlights the dangers faced by horse riders on UK roads. Please support Debbie Smith’s petition at https://www.change.org/p/uk-govt-make-it-law-to-pass-by-a-horse-wide-and-slow-and-abide-by-our-hand-signals?recruiter=166944944&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

After 2 years of campaigning by some very dedicated people, we have made a lot of progress and on behalf of all horse riders, thank you to all motorists that demonstrate care and respect when passing horse riders. The decent horse riders will always thank you for it. As for those who don’t show gratitude, we don’t like them any more than you do. There are a few bad apples in every barrel.


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