More than 80 horses involved in accidents on Shropshire roads last year
More than 80 horses in Shropshire were involved in road accidents last year, new statistics show.
The British Horse Society (BHS) have revealed that 270 horses were killed, injured or otherwise involved in road traffic incidents in the West Midland roads in 2023.
Staffordshire experienced the most incidents with 81 incidents, followed by Shropshire with 61 incidents, and then Warwickshire with 59 incidents.
Among the incidents in Shropshire were three horses that were killed following a collision on the A41 at Rosehill near Market Drayton after they got loose in April last year.
The BHS said the figures were a stark reminder that road incidents involving equestrians continue to persist, despite changes implemented in the Highway Code in 2022, which set out clear guidance for passing equestrians safely.
Overall, 3,383 incidents were recorded via the BHS’s Horse i app across the UK in 2023, with 85 per cent of those occurring because a vehicle passed by too closely or too quickly.
The equine charity are urging drivers to pass horses at no more than 10mph and to leave at least two metres distance. These key behavioural messages align with the guidance set out in the Highway Code.
Director of Safety at The British Horse Society, Alan Hiscox said: “Looking at the 2023 statistics, it is clear that a significant number of drivers are still unaware of the advice in the Highway Code and the importance of driving carefully when passing and approaching horses.
"A horse’s instinctive response to danger is to react and move very quickly. Understandably, a driver passing at an inappropriate speed can be intimidating for the horse and be cause for alarm. That is why it is so important for drivers to consider the true power of horses, and to pass horses slowly and with plenty of room, following the advice in the Highway Code.”
As part of their Dead Slow road safety campaign, the BHS continue to inform and involve road users on how to pass horses safely as well as how impactful passing horses too quickly and closely can be.
Alan added: “Far too many lives have been lost over the last 10 years and we are working hard to drastically reduce the number of incidents that take place across the UK. While we recognise and thank all drivers who continue to follow the Highway Code guidance, there is still much work to do, ensuring horses and equestrians are safer when out on the roads.
"Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible for equestrians to stay off the roads due to the shrinking bridleway network. That is why it’s so important that we all play our part to make sure everyone remains safe.”
To learn more about The British Horse Society’s Dead Slow campaign and how you can help, visit: bhs.org.uk/deadslow