Equestrian Centre makes 'Slow down' appeal as Lincolnshire Police celebrate road safety heroes

A Lincolnshire equestrian centre is appealing for motorists to slow down as county police celebrate their road safety heroes.

Hundleby Equestrian Centre took to social media to make the appeal for motorists to slow down at the start of Road Safety Week.

Hundleby Equestrian Centre took to social media to make the appeal at the start of Road Safety Week.

The week is organised by the Road Safety charity Brake and Lincolnshire Police are nominating their Safer Roads Team as Road Safety Heroes.

In just over nine months, between January 21 and September 21, the Team have issued 426 tickets for a wide range of road traffic offences; mainly for the Fatal 4, speeding, no seatbelt or using a mobile phone whilst driving. They have also made nine arrests and seized 19 vehicles for no insurance. Between January and October this year have in total worked 3,600 hours to support road safety in Lincolnshire.

However, Hundleby Equestrian Centre say they have been campaigning tirelessly for a year to get motorists to slow down for their riders and it is a serious road safety issue for them.

Sian Lovatt, of Hundleby Equestrian Centre, told the Standard; "We went along to a council meeting and have been told we are getting 'slow down' signs but so far they have not materialised.

"Last week one of our young members nearly had a near miss and so we wanted to use Road Safety Week to highlight the importance of motorists slowing down for riders and giving us enough space when they pass by.

"Next time you see a horse on the road, please be considerate."

Guidance for approaching a horse is:

- Slow down. As soon as you see a horse on the road ahead, lower your speed. The British Horse Society recommends a maximum speed of 15mph.

- Give them plenty of space. Pass the horse wide and slow, allowing at least a car's width if possible and it’s safe to do so.

- Be prepared to make an emergency stop. Horses are unpredictable. Be ready to bring your vehicle to a complete halt in a safe and controlled manner.

- Drive slowly away. Avoid accelerating away too quickly once you’ve passed the horse. The noise and sudden movement could cause a fright.

- Respond to the rider’s instructions. If they feel you’re going too fast or need you to stop, then they may give you a hand signal. When asking you to slow down, they’ll usually hold out their right arm and slowly wave it up and down.

- Don’t sound your horn or rev your engine. Sudden noise could scare the horse and cause it to behave erratically.

- Pass WIDE and SLOW.

The Safer Roads Team is part of the Force Specialist Operations department and consists of 2 Special Sergeants and 8 Special Constables, they specialise in roads policing. They are split into two groups, one for the East of the county and one for the West. Along with other road traffic offences, they target the Fatal 4; use of mobile phones while driving, speeding, drink and drug driving and drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts.

They hold the same powers as a regular police officer, wear the same uniform and receive initial and continuous training. They volunteer to be Specials and do this work in their own time.

Superintendent Pat Coates, Specialist Operations, Lincolnshire Police, said: “Each member of the Safer Roads Team gives up their own time to focus on road safety in the county. Targeting drivers and criminals who put other road users at risk by using their mobile phones, speeding, drink or drug driving and not taking out insurance for example.

“Brake, the road safety charity, support people who have been involved in collisions, raise awareness, and run national campaigns aimed at improving the safety of all road users. We are pleased to support the charity this week and I’m proud to nominate our Safer Roads Team as our Road Safety Heroes."