1. ITV Report

West Country has second most dangerous roads in the UK for horse riders

The British Horse Society created this reconstruction to show the dangers of driving too close and fast Credit: British Horse Society

The West Country has some of the most dangerous roads in the country for horses and their riders.

The South West has the second highest number of collisions and near-miss incidents between horse riders and other vehicles.

The British Horse Society say there were 60 incidents last year with most happening in Devon and Cornwall.

Police forces across the West Country are running educational exercises to make sure both drivers and riders can share the roads safely.

It's hoped exercises like this one in Tewkesbury, will encourage everyone to pass wide and slow. Credit: ITV West Country

Nobody wants to be involved in an accident with a horse, not only is it traumatic for the rider, obviously there's a risk of serious injury or death to the horse, but as a driver it's traumatic.

The horses we're using today weigh up to three quarters of a tonne.

You can imagine if that comes through your windscreen or hits your car there's going to be some serious damage.

– Tracy Warburton, Mounted Officer Gloucestershire Constabulary

Drivers should follow this advice to pass a horse and rider safely.

  • Slow down to a maximum of 15mph.
  • Do not sound your horn or rev your engine.
  • Pass wide and slow when it's safe and always drive away slowly.
Katie and her horse Ebony have had several near-misses in East Devon Credit: ITV West Country

There are rules for horse riders too such as wearing high-visibility clothing.

However riders like Katie in East Budleigh still find people do not take notice.

My horse has hi-vis ear covers, I wear a tabard, I've got a flashing breast plate and a hat band. I'd like to think that I do everything I can possible to be seen on the roads. I would say that nearly every ride that I go on, I have quite a frightening experience either someone's passing close or very fast.

– Katie, Horse Rider