HORSE riders have been taking to the roads across the Isle of Wight today (Sunday) as part of a national campaign to encourage other road users to pass wide and slow.

Riders have have carried out demonstrations in Newport, Porchfield, Freshwater, Godshill and Wroxall.

Riding alongside banners, the riders are urging other road users to give at least two metres when passing a horse and reduce speed to 15mph.

Speaking to the County Press at the demonstration in Newport, Isle of Wight horse rider, Jackie Watts, said: "There are far to many accidents involving horses and other road users.

"We would love to only ride on soft ground, but in order to get to bridleways, we have to use roads.

"It is not just us at risk, it is pedestrians, cyclists and motorists themselves.

"I know a lot of car drivers find it irritating having to slow down, but adding a few extra minutes to journey times is not that big a problem.

"The biggest issue we have are people going too fast. It's quite common to have a car take over at 60mph, because that is the speed limit on country lanes.

"All it takes is a pheasant to fly out of the bushes or a plastic bag to be blown across the road to startle a horse and then they step sideways and end up in the path of a car.

"It is people not thinking about what could happen if something goes wrong.

"That is what this campaign is all about — we want to get the message out so people think before passing a horse on the road."

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