The British Horse Society (BHS)’s ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ campaign educates road users, primarily drivers, on how to safely pass horses on the road.

It contains four simple steps for drivers to follow:

  1. Slow down to a maximum of 15mph
  2. Be patient, don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
  3. Pass the horse wide and slow, at least a car’s width if possible and safe to do so
  4. Drive slowly away

In February 2020 to February 2021, 1,010 road incidents involving horses were reported to the BHS. Of these, 46 horses died and 118 were injured, whilst 130 people were injured.

Of these incidents, 80% occurred because a vehicle passed by too closely to the horse, while 43% of incidents occurred because a vehicle passed by too quickly.

The BHS works closely with the police, MPs, road safety partnerships and more to improve the awareness and safety of horses on the roads.

Find out more about the Dead Slow campaign in the video below:

The campaign also addresses horse riders and carriage drivers on road safety. This advice includes:

  • Wear hi-vis clothing and put hi-vis equipment on your horse — even on bright days
  • Wear protective headgear to current approved standards
  • Avoid riding in failing light, fog or darkness, or when it is snowing or icy, unless absolutely necessary
  • Show courtesy to drivers with a wave, or smile and nod if your hands are full
  • Be aware of your surroundings and give clear and decisive signals
  • Adhere to the Highway Code

The BHS also recommends riders undertake its Ride Safe Award.

The Dead Slow campaign was first launched in 2016, after a number of petitions called for improved protection for horses and riders on roads.

The statistics rely on riders to log any incidents or near misses to the BHS so they can maintain up-to-date records on safety on the roads.

To find out how to log an incident, click here.

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