On 14 April 2019 there will be a variety of rides throughout the UK to raise awareness of the ‘Pass Wide & Slow’ petition.
To date ‘Pass Wide & Slow’ has raised 139,598 signatures. The petition started in September 2015 and was debated in Parliament in June 2016.
As horse riders or carriage drivers we all know how drivers should pass horses on the roads. To raise awareness in local areas, particularly with drivers who may not know about horses and how important it is to pass them safely, it was decided that separate rides in multiple areas would help.
Debbie Smith, co-founder of ‘Pass Wide & Slow’ group, said: “For me raising awareness locally in lots of villages is one of the best ways to get into the local newspaper or radio station, and gain support of the local police and MPs.
“I put a post out asking if other riders would organise a ride with their friends as a group, and have the local reporter out to take a photo to write a report on educating drivers how and when to pass horses.
“Some drivers are scared to pass horses – they are big animals – so we need to educate these drivers. We also need to make drivers aware of the dangers if an incident did happen, and how to make sure accidents don’t happen.”
In the first year 20 rides went out over the UK, this year 68 people have asked to organise either a ride or a drive throughout England, Scotland and Wales to date.
Debbie added: “It is not a protest, we aren't out to deliberately hold drivers up – we move out of the way, smile, thank them and hope that they enjoy seeing a group of riders or carriage drivers out together.
“I just want to educate drivers on how as riders we keep ourselves safe – we are now using cameras, hi viz, and this is also a way to encourage riders to be polite to drivers.
“We want improved road safety for ourselves and better off road facilities for horse riding and carriage driving.”
The ‘Pass Wide & Slow’ group has 15,128 members, including a lot of followers who have lost their horses, partners, husbands or wives in an equestrian accident whilst riding or carriage driving on roads.
Find out what rides are happening near you, or how to organise your own ride, here.
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