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Operation Close Pass was conducted due to the number of complaints received by the Road Safety Partnership concerning the drivers of motor vehicles who are not observing the recent changes in the Highway Code that state vehicle should slow to 10mph and give horse riders at least 2m space when passing.
The operation saw representatives from Wiltshire and Swindon Councils, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, The British Horse Society and the Roads Policing Unit deploy to Hays. Lane, Wroughton, with three horse riders. The highly experienced riders were the owner of a livery stable, one of the Wiltshire Horse Rider Volunteers and a Police Officer.
In just 3 hours, 19 vehicles had been stopped by the Roads Policing Unit and offered words of advice about their driving around horses.
Sgt Ayres of the Roads Policing Unit said: “It was a really positive day supporting the Wiltshire and Swindon Road Safety Partnership with Operation Close Pass.”
“Wiltshire is a very rural county with a large number of equestrian road and byway users and the operation today listened directly to their concerns around the speed and closeness of vehicles passing them.”
“Of the 19 vehicles stopped today who were deemed to have passed either too quickly, or too close to the horses, the drivers all received education regarding the safe passing rather than enforcement.”
“The Roads Policing Unit is committed to ensuring the roads are shared and used safely by all member of the community.”
The Partnership proposes to hold more such operations in other parts of the county over the coming months.