On Monday 15 October 2018, approximately 200 people attended the First Anniversary event of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ at RDA Sandyflats, Glasgow.
Operation Lose the Blinkers, supported by the British Horse Society and Glasgow City Council, is aimed at all road users, with particular emphasis on the fringes of large towns and cities, where many riders keep and exercise their horses. Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ involves plainclothes officers from Police Scotland’s mounted branch patrolling areas of concern and recording incidents of bad driving on camera.
The event commenced with presentations from Julie Hanna (Regional Manager for Scotland, BHS) on the BHS Dead Slow campaign, safety statistics and reporting accidents, Lisa Dunlop (Road Policing Unit, Police Scotland) on Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ and Alan Gilbert (Mounted Branch, Police Scotland) on the operational side of this campaign. During the presentations, two of the horses that attend many of the action days along with one of the unmarked police cars were on display in the indoor arena at Sandyflats.
During the first year of Operation ‘Lose the Blinkers’ there has been 21 action days with the following results:
- 247 Drivers Have Been Stopped and Educated and Given An Advice Leaflet
- 27 Seatbelt Offences
- 18 Mobile Phone Offences
- 7 Careless Driving Offences
- 5 Miscellaneous Offences
- 2 Possession of Drugs
- 2 Arrests for Warrants
- 10 Drivers Stopped and Commended On Their Patience and Professionalism Shown When Passing Horses.
Following on from the presentations, the Mounted Branch gave a fantastic display and showed some of their hazard training exercises. Watching a quadrille doing a serpentine in trot and then cantering large around the arena was very impressive! The pony club members had great fun helping with the hazard training exercises – it was coming close to the noise expected from a football match that these horses regularly attend.
Thanks to BHS Strathclyde committee for organising the event and to RDA Sandyflats for the use of the venue and with all their help prior to and during the night. The staff and volunteers at RDA Sandyflats were so helpful and accommodating and a pleasure to work with.
At the end of the evening, Sonya Perry (BHS Ayrshire Chair) and Isabel Forsyth (BHS Ayrshire Vice-Chair) presented Police Scotland Mounted Branch and RDA Glasgow Group with a cheque each that was fundraised by the BHS Ayrshire committee at their recent Charity Show.