MORE than 20 motorists in East Renfrewshire were warned about the manner of their driving as police staged special patrols.

As part of the ‘Lose the Blinkers’ initiative, plain-clothed officers joined forces with police horses Cathcart and Lauder, from the mounted branch, to hit the roads of Barrhead and Neilston.

Their aim was to educate motorists about the dangers of passing horse-riders without due care and attention.

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The campaign is aimed at all drivers but with particular emphasis on urban roads near large towns.

Officers hope it will result in fewer injuries and deaths caused by vehicles passing too close to horses and their riders.

A total of 21 drivers were stopped on local roads last Friday and warned about the way they were driving.

Lose the Blinkers was first launched by Police Scotland in 2017, in partnership with the British Horse Society, after a total of 3,737 incidents were recorded in the UK over the previous seven years.

These included 315 horse fatalities, 43 rider fatalities, 945 horses being injured and 1,085 riders being hurt.

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The British Horse Society found that 73 per cent of incidents occurred because cars were passing too closely to horses, while 31 per cent were due to vehicles passing too quickly.

In addition, almost one-third of riders reported being the victim of a road rage incident.

Alan Hiscox, director of safety at the British Horse Society, said: “We encourage all road users to be courteous and patient with one another whilst sharing the roads.”

For advice on how to drive with the safety of horses and riders in mind, visit the British Horse Society website at