A HORSE died in a collision in the New Forest after the driver of a car was "distracted" by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.

The incident happened on Friday night and resulted in the animal going over the roof of the vehicle, which was written off.

Officers from Ringwood's policing team attended the incident on Roger Penny Way at Godshill on Friday night.

A post on the Ringwood Police Facebook page said a car travelling towards Cadnam was "distracted" by headlights of an oncoming vehicle and collided with a horse on the road which "went over [the] roof killing [the] animal outright" and writing off the vehicle.

The post added: "Thankfully [the] couple in [the] car survived without any injuries due to modern car safety standards, however [the] outcome could easily have been very different.

"New Forest animals can be hard to see, have right of way in the National Park and are drawn to roads and verges. No matter how experienced a driver extra caution on rural roads will reduce risk and improve safety for all.

“In this case driver remained at scene, reported immediately to police and correctly provided details to agister.

“Sadly, not all drivers are like this with hit and run collisions leaving animals suffering.”

November and December are described as the “deadliest months” for New Forest livestock as days become shorter and clocks go back with most accidents taking place between 5pm and 10pm on weekdays and involving local commuters.

In 2019, 58 animals were killed and a further 32 were injured whereas in 2020, when traffic was reduced by Covid-19 restrictions, 50 animals were killed and a further 21 were injured.

Last year’s accident figures were the lowest on record, but this year the roads are due to be busier as more people are driving to and from work.

Speed can be a contributing factor to animal accidents, and low light in winter, dazzling oncoming headlights and bad weather can make visibility poor.

The high-risk routes identified include the B3078/79 from Cadnam to Godshill, B3054 from Lymington to Dibden Purlieu, B3055 from Brockenhurst to Sway, and C10 from Picket Post to Holmsley.

You are required by law to report these accidents to the police by calling 999 as soon as possible.

A petition calling for an average speed camera to help reduce animal road deaths on Roger Penny Way gained support from New Forest District Council during a meeting on October 11. 

The petition, which was set up by commoner Gilly Jones on behalf of New Forest Roads Awareness was started after a series of animal deaths in December 2020 and January 2021 involving commoning stock on the New Forest road and called on New Forest District Council (NFDC) to “add its support to calls for the introduction of an average speed camera system on the B3078”.

Cllr Edward Heron, the leader of NFDC, at the meeting, said the council would work with the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Hampshire County Council as the highways authority, on a feasibility study.

It was agreed that a working group be set up. 

For more information on what to do after an accident visit: verderers.org.uk/reporting-an-incident


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