Rider warns drivers of dangers

Local riders helpfully recreate the safe passing distance.
Local riders helpfully recreate the safe passing distance.

An incident involving a car and horse in Clarkston has prompted a call for drivers to slow down and take more care.

Janice Shindler, who has been riding for 30 years was out hacking with her eight-year-old horse Shadow, when a driver failed to give way as she entered Newford grove from Eaglesham Road and colliding with her and her horse.

Luckily neither were injured, although badly shaken up, and it is likely to be quite some time before the horses confidence can be rebuilt before being safely taken back out on the public highway.

The incident, which was reported to the police and the British Horse Society (BHS), serves to highlight the society’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign, which aims to educate drivers of the dangers when around horses. Despite a wide-ranging approach on many different fronts, incidents involving vehicles and horses are up 29 per cent.

Janice told The Extra: “You could say that whilst the vast majority of local drivers are courteous there are a minority that still continue to drive too close and too fast.

“This may be down to lack of understanding of horses and how they behave but on occasion we have been subjected to unnecessary verbal abuse. All we ask is that people pass us with care, leaving at least 2 metres and no faster than 15mph.”

This advice is reinforced by the British Horse Society and the Highway Code which sets out some basic rules of the road for drivers and riders.

What was more shocking for Janice was the fact that she was dressed in yellow fluorescent high-visibility clothing as was her horse, and, in her own words, was ‘shining like a beacon for all to see’ yet, despite this, the driver still failed to see them!

Within the Busby and Clarkston area there are two livery yards with a large number of horses, ponies and owners who have no option but to use the main roads in order to access the more rural surroundings.

Over 60 per cent of incidents involving horses on the roads happen between 10am and 3pm, with accidents most commonly occurring in June, new stats from The BHS reveal, therefore this is a timely reminder for everyone to be a little more patient, don’t harass riders, keep your revs down and please don’t sound your horn either. Everyone is entitled to use the highways.