Road safety debate and horse riders

Updated 11 December 2018:

Please find below the letter from the Transport Minister.


Many thanks for the emails I have received recently about horse riders and the Highway Code review, along with the debate on road safety which was held on 5 November.

As you are aware, a review of the Highway Code was recently announced to help keep vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, safe on the roads. It is important to recognise that horse riders are also vulnerable road users and so Highway Code advice on, for example, overtaking or passing cyclists, applies equally to them. 

I understand that Ministers are aware of the points made by horse riders about the scope of the review and, whilst the full scope has yet to be determined, I am told it will be conducted in consultation with those representing horse riders.

When the review was first announced, the Government committed to updating the Highway Code in relation to close passing: a dangerous practice which is the root cause of many road incidents involving horses.

In addition to this review, work has taken place with the British Horse Society to support its 'Dead Slow' campaign to encourage drivers to pass horses safely.  And the THINK! Campaign provides motorists with advice on how to be considerate, based on the Highway Code: 
·         Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary
·         Look out for riders' signals to slow down or stop
·         Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and      unpredictable
·         Don't sound your horn or rev your engine
·         Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don't accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.

I recently took the matter up with the Transport Minister, Jesse Norman MP, and will update this page as soon as I receive his reply.  In the meantime, you can read the debate in full here:


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CWIS Safety review.pdf 14.1 KB