By Linda Hazelwood, MHC Business Manager and ex-Recreation Chair

Vehicles and Horses Are Learning to Share the Road Safely

Back in 2017, Manitoba Horse Council (MHC) reported on their Road Safety project aimed at educating motorists and others on how to share rural roads safely with horse riders and carriage drivers.

Photo: Pam/Glover/Helping Hooves

Photo: Linda Hazelwood 

The Road Safety project included a brochure for the motorist called Sharing the Road with Horses, which had input from Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in Manitoba. CAA Manitoba also sponsored printing of the booklet. The booklets were distributed through driver licensing offices, municipality offices, libraries, and many other road user associations.

MHC also distributed a Road Safety Handbook for Equestrians to members to educate riders on how to deal with automotive traffic correctly, and ran a workshop for riders using the handbook.

In 2018-2019, Springfield Horse Community (SHC), a group of volunteers, took the project one step further. The Rural Municipality of Springfield, just northeast of Winnipeg, has one of the highest concentrations of horse ownership in the country, focussed around Birds Hill Provincial Park, which contains Manitoba Horse Council’s Equestrian Facility, a public trail riding ranch, and more than 100 miles of horse and multi-user trails.

After quite a few years of meeting and discussing with municipality representatives, SHC was given permission to erect 33 Share The Road signs on roads leading to Birds Hill Park and the surrounding area. MHC was proud to allocate grant funding towards this project. Under further discussion is the erection of Horse Crossing signs on busy entrances to the park, and possibly Share the Road signs inside the provincial park.

Photo: Pam/Glover/Helping Hooves

The Springfield Horse Community has erected 33 Share The Road signs on roads leading to Birds Hill Park and surrounding area. Photo credit: Carolyn Lintott

MPI and Driver Education have agreed to hand out MHC Road Safety Brochures in the Driver Education course at Springfield Collegiate, and MHC is working on identifying other high horse-concentration areas so that Driver Ed courses in those areas can also receive the booklets.

The booklets were also be available at the MHC booth at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon at the end of March.

This is an ongoing project and valuable for the safety of horses and riders in Manitoba. Next year we may be reporting the production of television adverts to warn of the dangers of driving when around horses!

To view the Sharing the Road with Horses brochure and the Road Safety Handbook for Equestrians, visit the Manitoba Horse Council website – Recreation link.

– With input from Carolyn Lintott, MHC Treasurer, volunteer with Springfield Horse Community and ex-Recreation Chair

Main photo: Carolyn Lintott

Category: 
Regional
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