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Consciousness rides intention to teach drivers on the right way to cross horses on the street

  • The Pass Wide and Slow safety campaign has held its biggest event to date, as more than 200 awareness rides took place across the country.

    On 18 September riders and carriage drivers were joined by walkers, cyclists, police forces, and councillors, as part of the annual event, which aims to educate drivers on how to pass horses on the road safely. The campaign launched in 2016 with 20 rides, and has grown year on year.

    Terri Amber co-organised a ride with Claire Brooks in Dronfield, Derbyshire, with 10 riders, six walkers, and two police officers from the Dronfield safe neighbourhood team in attendance.

    “This is the third year I’ve organised a ride and I do it because I know how horrible it is to ride on the road, and how frequently things happen,” Ms Amber told H&H.

    “With Pass Wide and Slow we’re trying to build a movement and get the message out there to the public. By having this national event I think it’s having a big impact.”

    Ms Amber is due to have a public meeting with councillors and her MP about improvements to road safety and off-road riding in her area.

    “We need to keep the pressure on, make sure our complaints are being taken seriously, and make sure that dangerous and inconsiderate drivers who ignore the Highway Code know there are consequences,” she said.

    Pass Wide and Slow founder Debbie Smith told H&H it is “brilliant” that the campaign continues to grow. Next year the event will run across two days, 16 and 17 September.

    “One ride had 50 in attendance, another 30, and one only had six. It doesn’t have to be a big group, but it’s about getting out on the road and raising awareness in your local area. It’s great to see how many rides got support from police forces and MPs because that’s the kind of support we need,” she said.

    “I think in some areas the message is getting out to drivers but there is still work to be done. When I’m out riding locally drivers know I wear a camera and have got to know me because of the campaign. But we need more riders to wear cameras, and to keep reporting incidents.”

    A spokesman for Derbyshire Police, which also had officers from its Swadlincote Police safe neighbourhood team at another ride, told H&H the force “works hard” to ensure any vulnerable road user is kept safe on the county’s roads.

    “Being a police force that covers a huge rural area, our officers are acutely aware of the dangers that are posed when a horse can become spooked. Riders and horses are particularly vulnerable when out on the roads and we would always urge everyone to pass wide and slow when they come across a horse and rider,” he said.

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