They want lower speeds introduced in rural areas to protect horses and their riders


Campaigners are urging for changes to speed limits on country roads following the release of figures showing that 222 horses and 38 riders have been killed during the past seven years on UK roads.

One leading equestrian charity would like to see lower speed limits introduced in rural areas to protect horses and their riders.

According to the British Horse Society (BHS), 222 horses and 38 riders have died on UK roads in the last seven years, whilst a further 2,510 incidents were also reported.

They want lower speeds in rural areas to protect horses and their riders

Campaigners urging for changes to speed limits on country roads to protect horses and their riders © Copyright Mat Fascione and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The figures equate to a 29% increase over the last year regarding accidents involving horses on roads up and down the country – a staggering 81% of all incidents are related to drivers not leaving enough space between their vehicle and the horses.

As a result of these figures, the BHS is asking for the speed limited to be reduced in rural areas “where there is frequent equestrian activity”.

According to the charity, one fifth of all incidents involved a car coming together with a horse, whilst 40% of riders claim they have experienced an episode of road rage.

Up to now, no definite speed limit has been put forward, however the BHS authorised a report from the Transport Research Laboratory, who disputes how wise it is to allow motorists to be able to travel at 60mph on roads that horses might be travelling on.

According to the report though, riders need to take more care as well as drivers and recommends that horse riders be made to wear Hi-Vis clothing and LED lights whilst riding to make them stand out more on the road, so that other roads users can see them more clearly.

“Roads are getting busier and we have seen an increase in incidents in the last year,” said Alan Hiscox from the BHS.

Mr Hiscox is pushing for something to be done and highlighted the report which “recommends reducing the national speed limit on rural roads, where there is frequent equestrian activity; it could save the lives of both the horse and rider and other vulnerable road users.”


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