Horse riders want motorists to slow down

Horse riders want motorists to slow down
Photo credit: @rideforroadsafety/Facebook

Riders around New Zealand are to mount their horses for the country's biggest simultaneous road ride: the National Ride for Road Safety.

Riders want motorists to slow to 20km/h when passing a horse, and to give a two-metre berth.

Organisers say of the 1000 riders registered to take part, two-thirds of them have had a narrow escape with a vehicle. Even more - 71 percent - reported feeling unsafe riding on their local rural roads. 

National coordinator Simone Frewin says many disturbing stories have emerged over the years, particularly from riders taking part from Northland to south Canterbury. 

"The most common complaint is drivers coming so close they've hit riders' stirrup irons, with enough speed to smash the wing mirror of the vehicle."

Ms Frewin added that abuse from drivers is common if and when they are asked to slow down.  

The Ride for Road Safety event was established in 2016 after the death of Auckland horse Curious George and the hospitalisation of his rider, Newshub journalist Karen Rutherford.