Highway Code changes slammed by Steve McNamara
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Edward Henderson of Airdrie in Scotland stated he was out walking his horse and cart along with his children when a lorry attempted to overtake them. When the altercation escalated, Mr Henderson was left with a badly injured arm and “traumatised” children.
The farmer was exercising the two horses with his teenage son and daughter when he stood in the road to direct the cart into the family’s driveway.
At that moment a truck tried to move around them and eventually struck Mr Henderson, leading to the man calling for warning signs to be put in place for road users.
He claimed: “We’d moved out to overtake a parked car at the side of the road and I’d jumped down from the cart and was standing on the white line, to help as the children and horses turn in because it’s a fast road.
“The lorry driver tried to squeeze past, in between us and the parked car. There wasn’t enough room and I told him to wait two minutes.”
Mr Henderson continued: “He was shouting that we shouldn’t be on the road and that horses are a nuisance on the public highway, giving dog’s abuse – I said he should read the Highway Code and that he had to give us two metres of space.
“I was asking him to wait but he still kept coming at me, and then when I turned away to walk in, he just kept pushing by and I was hit twice on the back and shoulder.
“We got the horses off the road and then phoned the police. After they’d attended I went to Monklands Hospital for an X-ray and it turned out to be a fractured shoulder and damaged muscles and tendons.
“We’re all traumatised by what happened. I’m having nightmares and waking up screaming, and I’m in a lot of pain and have to go for physio.”
“I can’t drive just now. I’m self-employed and having to get someone to help me with work.”
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Mr Henderson, who has contacted local councillor Alan Beveridge for help in getting speed limit signs put in place in the area, said it wasn’t the first time he has had issues with drivers.
He explained: “We’ve had close calls before on the road with lorries and vehicles overtaking.
“The speed which drivers go along this road is an issue as well, as they shouldn’t be doing more than 30.
“Horses have the right to be on the road and there needs to be better consideration of vulnerable road users – we’re now hoping to get signs put up and even cameras to improve road safety, not just for horses and riders but for all road users.”
A police spokesperson said: “Officers received a report of verbal abuse and an alleged assault by a motorist towards a horse owner/rider who was walking his horses on Airdrie Road, Caldercruix at around 3pm on Friday, January 14. Enquiries are ongoing.”
Councillor Beveridge added: “The possibility of putting up warning signs is being looked at by the council just now . We want to highlight the problems for horse riders and other road users, and this is a really concerning incident.
“The ideal scenario for me would be to have cameras put in place. In the past we’ve been told that the road statistics haven’t justified it but I’ll be flagging it up again.
“I’m also aware of vehicles going at excessive speed on the A89 and have had numerous complaints over a long while.”
Highway Code changes coming in at the end of this week prioritise more vulnerable road users.
They include measures outlining the extra space drivers should give cyclists when passing and giving way to any pedestrian trying to cross a road.
Current Highway code advice about passing animals states: “Be particularly careful of horse riders and horse-drawn vehicles especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slowly.
“Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse or rider.
“Look out for horse riders’ and horse drivers’ signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Take great care and treat all horses as a potential hazard.”
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