Cycling UK and the British Horse Society have launched a new campaign that aims to help horse and bike riders pass on trails safely. Called 'Be Nice, Say Hi', it aims to spread knowledge that'll help bicycle riders to pass horses and their riders safely.
The campaign aims to reduce conflict between horse riders and cyclists by promoting awareness of the facts that horses are really rather easily startled and if you slow down announce your presence in good time then that's likely to prevent any issues. Being nice and saying 'hi' is the obvious way to do this.
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said: “Every time a cyclist encounters a horse, there are three brains involved: the cyclist’s, the rider’s and the horse’s. Many people aren’t familiar with horses, and there can be confusion on what they should do when overtaking on a bike. Cyclists may already know to pass wide and slow when it’s safe to do so – but they could still startle the horse unless the horse and rider are made aware of your presence.
“Generally, if a cyclist startles a horse, it is due to simple lack of awareness that a horse needs more time to react, which is why Cycling UK is pleased to be helping the BHS promote the consideration and courtesy message of ’Be nice, say hi’.”
Director of Safety for the BHS, Alan Hiscox said: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Cycling UK as both groups are vulnerable road users and will benefit from working together to share the roads. We are encouraging riders to respond positively to cyclists who pass with consideration and reciprocate their courtesy.
“Horses are flight animals and may react to anything they are unsure of. By promoting the ‘Be nice, say hi’ message, we hope more cyclists will appreciate the potential risk they pose. If all road users are considerate and mindful of one another we can reduce the number of incidents between horses, cyclists and vehicles”.
As with most things, a bit of courtesy and consideration goes a long way, so we'll be keeping up our blanket policy of recommending that people don't act like d*cks when they're out and about...
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