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Police warn drivers and horse riders on road safety after accidents

John Freeman
Local motorists are being urged to take extra care on the roads when passing horses and their riders to avoid potential accidents, after two serious accidents involving horse riders in the north of the county in the last five months.

Riders are also being advised to consider their own safety, and that of their animals, when out on country roads where visibility may be poor.

Last September, a 14-year-old girl was placed on a life-support machine following a road accident in Caton, Lancaster. She has since made a full recovery, but her horse had to be destroyed. A 30-year-old woman also sustained head injuries as a result of a road accident in Kellet Lane, Slyne, outside Lancaster, on Boxing Day. Her horse also had to be put down.

“The roads around Lancaster are very popular with horse riders," notes PC Iain Moneagle of the road policing unit. "Horses can get spooked by cars that pass too quickly, or by loud noises, and this can lead to an accident. Both riders and motorists are responsible for the safety of themselves and other road users and there are a number of measures that can be taken to ensure this.”

The police advise that Horse riders should wear high visibility clothing and approved head protection;
attach lighting to themselves and the animal during night rides or inclement weather; ride in single file; and consider routes used. Try and keep to quiet routes and not roads that are at the national speed limits.

Motorists should give horses a wide berth when passing and decrease speed when overtaking horses. They must also not use horns or have radio at loud level when passing in order not to spook the horse.