British equestrians urged to have say over speed limits


Britain’s horse riders and carriage drivers are being urged to give their views on whether lowering speed limits will make  roads safer.

Hundreds of horses and riders are involved in accidents on Britain’s roads each year, the British Horse Society says.

In 2011, 225 incidents involving horses on the road were reported through the dedicated accident recording website, This included 18 severe rider injuries and eight rider fatalities.

The society, which funds the website, fears those figure may be just the tip of the iceberg, and that many more incidents go unreported.

It was a sad fact that a horse can be killed, or a vehicle written off, and the accident may not be recorded anywhere, it said.

The charity said it welcomed the British Government’s consultation on guidance to traffic authorities for setting local speed limits.

“Lowering limits on roads which form part of a recognised route for vulnerable road users could be invaluable to improving road safety,” it said in a statement.

However, it agreed with the Government that speed-limit changes were unlikely to fully address the problem of accidents on rural roads and that a wider range of measures would need to be implemented.

Speed limits were not a target and factors such as the time of day and weather conditions affected what was an appropriate speed to travel on a particular stretch of road.

The society said it would be be responding to the consultation before it closed in October. It urged all equestrians to express their views to the society before it formulates its response. Comments can be emailed to

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