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2023: A year in the life of the BHS Safety Team

Whether it’s a quick hack before your morning commute or a weekend trek, we all want the same thing. To stay safe!

Making the world safer for all horses and equestrians is a crucial part of The British Horse Society’s mission, with our dedicated safety team and volunteers at the heart of that work. Through passion and determination, they are committed to making sure equine safety remains a top priority as well as creating a more secure environment for future equestrians to flourish.

To date, one of the biggest successes of the safety team has been instigating change in the Highway Code last year. The guidelines, which were a direct result of the BHS’s involvement in the stakeholder group for vulnerable road users, now align with our Dead Slow behavioural messages.

Working closely with MPs, the police and road safety partnerships, the award-winning Dead Slow campaign has positively impacted multiple people across the country, including equestrians and motorists alike. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of passing horses too quickly and closely on the road, and how this can have potentially fatal consequences for everyone involved.

This year, the Safety Team have been promoting the Dead Slow messaging, with the aim of reducing the number of incidents involving horses, carriage drivers and riders on the road. They have been reaching motorists at Car Fest, the NEC Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, and multiple town centre events, always bringing their signature passion and enthusiasm to instigate real change.

The team have been bringing our brand new Scalextric set to these events, demonstrating the importance of our road safety mission in a fun and engaging way for the public.

You may have also seen the signature BHS red at several other big events in 2023, from the Road Safety GB Conference and Open Reach/ XPO Logistics Driver of the Year to the ADI Conferences in Newark and Kempton.

As well as being present at the exhibitions, the team have been working closely with the Driving Instructors Association, plus some well-known organisations with a large number of employed drivers, including Openreach and Sky, to deliver essential safety messages directly to road users.

During 2023, the Safety Team have also had great success with BBC Breakfast and local broadcast channels across the UK. In 2023, we have worked closely with nearly 30 journalists and reporters to propel our key behavioural messages.

Reinforcing the inexcusably high equine road incident figures, we have been working tirelessly to make the public aware of the urgent importance of driving carefully around horses and to encourage all riders, and the general public, to log any incidents via the Horse i app. This provides vital information and data for the team, helping us to lobby for critical change in safety laws.

To raise further awareness of equine road safety, the BHS Safety Team have been getting involved with the younger generation, through the Henry the Horse interactive lesson plan for primary schools. Children walk away having learnt valuable lessons, with informative booklets, and are instilled with knowledge that they can pass on to their parents as well as carry with them into adulthood.

With a total of 69 horses killed on our roads in 2022, our Safety Team’s work is vital to making sure equestrians can remain safe on our roads. Through working collaboratively to educate and drive awareness, we strive to stop these awful incidents from happening over and over again.
But none of this work would be possible without your help. Please give today to support us, as we continue to collaborate with key stakeholders, including the police, the local government, and the local equine communities to drive important change in equine safety.