Police stop 40 motorists in an hour for poor driving near horses in road safety scheme

GMP's Mounted Unit doing a Safer Pass initiative in Lowton
GMP's Mounted Unit doing a Safer Pass initiative in Lowton

Police stopped 40 motorists in just an hour on a borough road for poor or dangerous driving around horses.

The Mounted Unit from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) headed to Slag Lane in Lowton to pull over drivers going too quickly around the animals or passing by too close to them.

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The crackdown was part of the force's Safer Pass initiative.

Officers went to Slag Lane after a young girl was hurt after being knocked off her horse a couple of months ago.

Police said the number of people driving dangerously around horses was concerning but the Mounted Unit's presence at least provided a chance to talk to them about the risks.

Motorists are now being urged to make sure they understand how to drive safely near the animals.

PC Matthew Hill said: “The location of the initiative was chosen due to an incident where a young girl was injured after being knocked off her horse in September.

"We were disappointed to see so many cars pass us closely and at speed in such a short amount of time, but it was a great opportunity to speak to the drivers and educate them on the dangers of their actions.

“The damage speeding cars can cause not only to themselves, but to both the horse and rider, can be fatal and we want to reduce these incidents. Further operations are planned in a bid to make the roads a safer place to be for horse and riders.”

GMP is running the Safer Pass initiative in partnership with the British Horse Society (BHS).

The BHS is asking drivers to remember to slow down to a maximum of 15mph if they see a horse.

They should be patient and not sound the horn or rev the engine, pass the horse slowly when it is safe to do so at least a car’s width apart if possible, and then drive slowly away.

Riders, for their part, are being asked to ensure they comply with the Highway Code and the shared responsibility of the road, wear conspicuous clothing such hi-vis on both the rider and the horse, thank drivers and other road users for passing safely and not ride in failing light or darkness unless absolutely necessary.

Alan Hiscox, director of safety at the BHS, said: “We were contacted by the riders involved in this incident and we’re really grateful that we have been able to work with GMP’s Mounted Unit to put together a Safe Pass Initiative in the area to raise awareness amongst drivers on how to safely pass horses on the road.

"We would encourage any riders to report any incident to the BHS horse accidents website, as we can use this information to implement initiatives like this.”