Glow means Slow campaign gathers momentum
Glow Means Slow was created in February 2017 to help raise awareness of the importance of wearing HiViz when riding out on the roads and rural lanes. As a car driver & a horse owner, I've come across many other riders on the roads that don't wear HiViz and to be honest they wonder why we end up with altercations with motorists.....HiViz makes you stand out!
In certain lights you have 4 colours available…. yellow, orange, pink & green. But also recently, after researching into HiViz ridden wear, I've also seen that some HiViz wear is available in multi-colour, and depending on the scenery around you, depends on which stands out the most.
Country & rural lanes put horse riders more at risk of being involved in accidents on the roads by their very nature - narrow, low visibility with twists, turns & high hedgerows, as well as many allowing national speed limits. The main contributor is speed, especially when the roads are windy and sometimes only wide enough for one car's width. But also, when riders choose to hack out at certain times of the day when the light isn't great and suddenly, opting for not wearing HiViz becomes a very high risk factor.
Sarah Johnson from the campagn says "After attending a talk by The British Horse Society on the 31st May, it really opened my eyes. Their safety officer, Brian Hiscox, showed the statistics for the past six years of incidents involving motorists and equestrians on the roads. To be honest, it's quite frightening, and much higher numbers that I expected.
2,568 incidents in the past six years
38 horse riders died
222 horses died
766 horse related injuries
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Higher than you thought ?
Well, here's something even more frightening - 80% of these incidents were caused by motorists going TOO FAST when approaching & overtaking horses OR travel TOO CLOSE as they pass!!!
Glow Means Slow has been given the fantastic & unique opportunity to work alongside Will's Law for Horses. As most of you will be aware Will's Law was started when a Friesian called Will, who was pulling a funeral carriage, was killed on scene due to a negligent driver, who when overtaking Will, drove straight into him at speed.
They pushed to make it Law that cars overtake horses at a MINIMUM distance of 1.5m and it appears that it was completely ignored. Glow Means Slow has been given the fantastic & unique opportunity to work alongside Will's Law for Horses. As most of you will be aware Will's Law was started when a Friesian called Will, who was pulling a funeral carriage, was killed on scene due to a negligent driver, who when overtaking Will, drove straight into him at speed. They pushed to make it Law that cars overtake horses at a MINIMUM distance of 1.5m and it appears that it was completely ignored.
Sarah added "we will be trying to get section 215 of the Highway Code, which puts in place to protect us from harm by extending that overtaking safe-zone to 2m. There is a lot of hard work going on in the background but an exciting future ahead with the Glow Means Slow & Will's Law campaigns now joining forces.
The powers of social media have been an amazing support. The awareness and support the campaign has raised has been beyond what I ever expected. I wanted the campaign to be noticed by not only equestrians & motorists but also the polices forces, the military, as well as transport companies who take riders to destinations for long ride outs. I waned them to not only be aware, but to really understand the message we were working to getting across"
Education is key when it comes to HiViz which is exactly what Glow Means Slow is all about. Many riders feel that because wearing HiViz isn't a mandatory law, they don't need to wear it. Many forget that, especially on rural lanes, HiViz could save their lives - those bright colours that make you stand out gives drivers more warning that you are there.
Sarah went on to say
"The answer is actually very simple - HiViz can save your life and on talking to motorists about this issue I asked a simple question,
What do you see first when your on a country lane - a horse or the rider??
From those that I spoke to, the general consensus was that they see the rider as they're wearing HiViz, so what about the horse? Well, some drivers will see the horse first - just think of a blind bend.
A horse is a big, heavy animal that can cause a lot of damage if involved in an accident. Why do many riders still feel that not even using a tail guard could potentially make them stand out to motorists? Can it really be that difficult to put HighViz on your tack for a casual ride out around the country.
It is all education & sometimes it's the really simple things that can make a huge difference.
Pass wide... AND slow, please.