Campaign to cut horse-related road accidents

Police horses at work
Police horses at work

Greater Manchester Police’s mounted unit is working with The British Horse Society to cut accidents involving horses on the roads.

The Safer Pass initiative is designed to highlight the safe distance and speed required when passing a horse.

GMP has recognised hotspot areas where incidents are more likely to occur and will use plain-clothed mounted officers to identify drivers committing an offence by passing horses too close or fast.

Officers from GMP’s Mounted Unit are planning operations throughout this week whereby any drivers stopped will be given advice by the officers and the BHS on how they should safely pass horses on the road.

The key messages say that if I see a horse on the road, I will:

Slow down to a maximum of 15mph

Be patient. I won’t sound my horn or rev my engine

Pass wide and slow (if safe to do so) at least a car’s width if possible

Drive slowly away

Riders can submit video footage of incidents via GMP’s online reporting system at www.gmp.police.uk.

Riders with or without footage should report incidents to the British Horse Society’s reporting system at horseaccidents.org.uk

PC Matthew Hill said: “Riding our police horses on the road is something we do every day so we are highly aware of the near misses caused by people driving too close or too fast.

“A huge misconception about police horses is that they can cope with anything, but at the end of the day, they are still animals and can still react regardless of the specialised training they receive.”