Prince Michael speeches
Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA 13th December, The Savoy 2016
"A very warm welcome to you all.
I am delighted that so many here today have travelled from all over the world to celebrate the achievements of my award winners. This ceremony forms the climax of an important series of informative meetings and events where many of you have been able to share experiences and learn from each other.
We are now half way through the Decade of Action. Although there has been much progress much more needs to be done. We need to redouble our efforts if we are to achieve the ambitions set in the Global Plan to halve deaths on the world’s roads.
The new Sustainable Development Goals which set global policy priorities have been endorsed by The United Nations. They provide a strong mechanism to encourage governments to make that essential difference especially in the developing world and give us an agenda for further action.
I would like to congratulate Lord Robertson and his team from The FIA Foundation for their work on the international stage to ensure that the goals have valuable road safety content.
One important task ahead is to encourage the implementation of policy and laws that we here know will save more lives. Yesterday I launched the Global Forum for Road Safety Legislators established with support from both the World Health Organisation and the Towards Zero Foundation to help to do just this.
I am delighted that many of those delegates have been able to join us. I am also delighted that the British road safety minister - Andrew Jones has been able to join us today.
We are also privileged to have here today my award winners not just from England but also from Scotland, South Africa, Belize, Singapore and Cambodia. Together with others from International organisations which play a vital role so I am pleased that Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General of The UN Economic Commission for Europe and Etienne Krug from The World Health Organisation.
I am particularly grateful to those who help to make my awards scheme possible, to the judges who devote a considerable amount of time to identifying the winners. To our many supporters and of course to the team from RoadSafe, supported by The FIA Foundation, the Towards Zero Foundation and the many commercial sponsors who commit so much for road safety.
My special thanks goes to Mr Tony Spalding who is stepping down as chairman after 15 years with RoadSafe.
May I also welcome my new chairman Mr Arun Srinivasan from Bosch.
It is encouraging to see so many former winners here today. Among you is Rohit Baluja, from IRTE in Delhi - my very first international winner back in 2001.
But we are here to celebrate the innovations and successes of this year’s winners and it is you who should take centre stage - my congratulations to you all.
Although there are widely differing levels of casualty rates in different parts of the world we now know how to reduce these and you are all too familiar with the challenges faced to achieve results. What is needed is strong evidence to persuade road safety practitioners and policymakers, and their political leaders of what is needed and how to make it happen.
At a time when many high income countries have seen a plateau or increase in their road traffic deaths, and when the global epidemic in middle and low income countries continues to rage, a paradigm shift to the Safe System is essential if we are to achieve the Decade of Action Goals.
The International Transport Forum at the OECD has played a leading role in road safety for many years but its most recent report is an important intellectual underpinning for the growing ‘Vision Zero’ movement in support of the Safe System. It shows how, through practical and affordable action, the Safe System can be relevant for countries and cities at any stage of development.
The International Transport Forum’s work and its new report provide both the evidence and the momentum at this critical time, and for this reason I am pleased to welcome Mr José Viegas Secretary-General, International Transport Forum, Winner of my 2016 Decade of Action Award.
Today we have seen some fine examples of outstanding contributions to improving safety from governments, international organisations, national initiatives, local schemes and all-important initiatives from NGOs.
It has been impossible to identify one which stands out above others for my Premier Award. So I have had to look to more widely to find the winner.
Before announcing this I would however like to highlight the significant contribution being made by the automotive industry where safety innovation has saved countless lives.
A huge stimulus to this in this continent has been Euro NCAP and I am delighted that its founder Max Mosley is able to be here today.
But much of this innovation has yet to reach those areas of the world where it will matter most and much needs to be done to be done to make this happen.
I am therefore delighted that my Premier Award winner is making this happen – Global NCAP."
Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA 8th December, The Savoy 2015
"I would like to welcome you all here this morning.
We are here to present my 2015 International Road Safety awards and I have just been congratulating the recipients.
Since I first launched these international awards I have been struck by the wide diversity of innovations which have contributed to improved road safety from local right up to international level.
There have been some outstanding examples submitted by governments, as well as those from commercial organisations and institutions. I am delighted that many of the people behind them are here today. Your commitment and ingenuity deserve the highest praise.
The awards recognise achievement as well as innovation and you have shown both in abundance. But I would like to highlight two important features which strike me as essential for success.
At the heart of any successful programme lies Partnership. It is rare that a successful improvement can be delivered without bringing together a number of organisations or agencies. These may be in the design stage or in delivery. By working together across disciplines and by building coalitions far more can be achieved than by trying to go it alone.
The second feature an innovation needs for it to be successful is that it must be based on sound evidence. The need for it must be clear, and above all the effect of the innovation must be rigorously evaluated.
Looking at this year’s winners I would also emphasise the importance of technology. Developments in vehicle safety have already saved countless lives, especially here in Europe, and we have companies such as Bosch to thank for that. But it is disappointing that certain global manufacturers still dare to sell sub-standard vehicles in markets where regulation is poor and consumer understanding is weak. They know who they are.
I also find it profoundly disappointing that yet again we have been unable to persuade the Minister for Road Safety to attend Britain’s major road safety event of the year. We are here, after all, to recognise the significant contribution you have all been making to road safety.
Today we have winners who have got to grips with technologies to make small but important changes in driver behaviour. I would like to single out the telematic insurance programmes based on sound research which are showing signs of helping to improve the proficiency of drivers using them.
Last month I was in Brasilia where many of my award winners were present at the Second Ministerial High Level International Conference. They and many others came together to launch the next phase of The Decade of Action. Unfortunately, however, there was no ministerial representation from UK.
If we are to achieve the United Nations target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2020, then many of these technologies, especially those which enhance vehicle safety, will need to be adopted across the world and not just here in Europe.
During the past few years I have been able to visit award winners, in Africa, Asia, Australia, America and elsewhere in Europe to see at first-hand what you and others have achieved.
One thing always stands out. The responsibility for effective road safety lies primarily with governments, but without the stimulus and example provided by NGOs we would not have made the same progress. And where an NGO is able to combine its own energy with additional resources from the private sector we have a winning formula.
The support provided by business is vital. Many companies such as Shell and Michelin do so much more than simply ensuring that their own people are safe on the roads – they work closely with others to deliver educational programmes often in unexpected but praiseworthy ways.
My thanks go to the team from The FIA Foundation who again has worked tirelessly to develop and support many initiatives which have contributed to the Decade of Action. One of these was to establish The Commission for Global Road Safety which under the leadership of Lord Robertson and through its Make Roads Safe Campaign has achieved a remarkable amount over the past ten years. Lord Robertson is unable to be here today, but I am delighted that David Ward, who has been behind this work, is able to be here but wearing a new hat, as Secretary General of Global NCAP.
This event is only possible with the generous support of our sponsors – my thanks go to you all.
But our focus today is on the winners. We will hear more about your achievements later. Again, you have all my congratulations. At the end of lunch I will announce my Premier Award winner for 2015."
Following lunch and after coffee has been served The Prince announced his Premier Award.
Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA Brasilia 2015
"It is a real pleasure to be with you here and to have been able to learn a little about the many projects and initiatives which are all contributing to the objectives of the Decade of Action.
I am especially grateful to the FIA Foundation for its outstanding support for many of these important initiatives and for arranging this dinner this evening.
Since I first launched my international awards I have been struck by the wide diversity of innovations which have contributed to improved road safety at local, national and international level.
There have been some outstanding examples of successful programmes and inventions led by governments, commercial organisations and institutions and I am delighted that many of the people behind these are here this evening. Your commitment, ingenuity and tenacity deserve the highest praise.
It is therefore a real pleasure to be with you and be among so many of my award winners from previous years. I am particularly pleased to be able to meet those who have won awards this year. My heartiest congratulations to you all.
My awards recognise innovation and achievement and you have shown this in abundance. But I would like to highlight two important features essential for success. At the heart the really successful programmes whether they be large or small lies Partnership.
It is rare that a successful intervention can be delivered without bringing together a number of organisations or agencies. By working together across disciplines and by building coalitions far more can be achieved than by trying to go it alone.
The second feature is that to be successful it must be based on sound evidence. By this I mean the need must be clear and above all the effect of the intervention must be rigorously evaluated.
Over the last ten years I have been able to meet all my award winners and in some cases have also been able to visit them on their own ground to learn more about the huge task they face.
I was able to be in Moscow when the Decade of Action was launched and I have been able to visit award winners in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and America to see at first-hand what you and others have achieved.
These winners have ranged from international corporations and governments, to organisations behind small local initiatives. My awards have recognised successful educational programmes, technological innovations, engineering achievements and many initiatives which have contributed to remarkable changes in behaviour.
One thing struck me everywhere I have been. While the responsibility for effective road safety lies primarily with governments, without the stimulus and example provided by NGOs we would not have made progress. NGOs can be really effective catalysts for action. Today’s winners are testament to this.
And where an NGO is able to combine its own energy with additional resources from the private sector and work with governments we have a winning formula. One such example is The Aisa Injury Prevention Foundation which did so much good work in Vietnam in the last decade and which launched its Helmets for Kids campaign which spread to neighbouring countries and into Africa too.
The support provided by business is vital. Many companies such as Shell and Johnson & Johnson do so much more than simply ensuring that their own people are safe on the roads – they work closely with NGOs to deliver educational programmes often in unexpected but praiseworthy ways – South African Breweries support for the work of SADD is a fine example of this.
I would also like to mention the WHO and pay tribute to the dedicated staff there – as all in this room know they have worked tirelessly to demonstrate the terrible effects of road death and injury on the health and economies of countries especially in the developing world. I was delighted to present my premier award to the team behind the World Report some ten years ago and since then under the leadership of Dr Krug they have steadfastly continued to lead the fight to reduce this terrible toll.
I am therefore especially pleased that the team is here tonight and delighted that their Director General, Dr Chan is able to be us. Without the leadership of the WHO we could not be successful.
My thanks go to the team from The FIA Foundation who again have worked tirelessly to develop and support many initiatives which have contributed to the Decade of Action. One of these was to establish The Commission for Global Road Safety which under the leadership of Lord Robertson and through its Make Roads Safe Campaign has achieved a remarkable amount – to have galvanised the United Nations and the international community to action is nothing short of remarkable.
It therefore gives me real pleasure to be able to mark this with a special award in recognition of the commission’s outstanding contribution."
Speech by Prince Michael PMIRSA 9th December 2014
"It is wonderful to be able to welcome my award winners here today to celebrate your success It is also good to welcome many former winners many others here today who play such important roles in enhancing safety on the world’s roads.
I am especially pleased to welcome our roads minister John Hayes and also the many international guests including the Australian High Commissioner.
As Patron of the Commission for Global Road Safety I am keenly aware of the challenge we all face, especially in many countries where motorisation is rapid and where death and injury rates are spiralling.
The scale of the human suffering caused by road crashes demands a high level of commitment from our political leaders, from civil society and from the private sector.
You, my winners share this commitment and I hope that my awards will not only recognise your achievement but that they will help others to learn from what you have done.
This annual event has become much more that simply an occasion to celebrate success. It is an opportunity for many of the world’s experts to meet others who share a passion for road safety and to share ideas and beilefs.
The Decade of Action is a mosaic of strategies and initiatives, some reaching across nations, others delivering improvements in one small community. But taken together, they represent a significant upswing in awareness and activity, my award winners make a significant contribution to this effort. You form a very special community, one which extends its reach across the world.
During the year I have also been able to meet more of my award winners to see their work at first-hand.
In Vietnam I visitited the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation and presented an award to the national Television company for its excellent work.
Then in Melbourn I was pleased to present my annual Decade of Action Award to the Victoria Government and to meet the team behind the state’s remarkable road safety programme. There too I presented awards to The Malaysian Road Safety Institute and to IRAP, which has done so much to show countries how best to improve the safety of infrastructure.
I am heartened to see how so many former winners develop and grow their programmes. In the field of young driver safety there are a number which have all helped to address this particularly difficult area. One such programme is First Car, a winner from 2008. It now reaches every new driver in Britain – each now being encouraged to join an on-line club to encouraging continuing engagement.
A unique aspect of my award scheme is that the winners are selected by their peers who give freely of their time and have many nominations to consider. My thanks go to these judges and indeed to all who help to deliver the scheme.
I also wish to thank the many businesses and organisations which support us and make my awards scheme viable with their generous financial or in-kind support.
Among them are a number of private sector companies which commit to making their staff and the communities in which they operate safe. What you do is remarkable. Thank you.
But our focus is on today’s winners - we will hear more about their achievements later and at the end of lunch I will announce my Premier Award winner for 2014.
I congratulate you the winners. In every case you have shown how a well-researched and carefully evaluated innovation can make a real and measurable difference.
You have each led the way in your own field and it is this leadership which stands out as being such a powerful contribution to improved safety. Thank you for your commitment – it is truly outstanding."
Following lunch and after coffee has been served The Prince announced his Premier Award.
“I know that young driver safety is a high priority especially here in Europe and I also know that many organisations are struggling to find effective and acceptable ways of reducing the risk that these young people face.
Even small reductions in risk all help but there is one educational initiative which has been with us for a few years but which has been proved to reduce risk by a remarkable ELEVEN per cent – There are many people here today who played important roles in the development and implementation of this outstanding initiative and I would like to invite this team behind the UK’s Hazard Perception Test to receive my Premier Award.”
Speech by Prince Michael at the Decade of Action Policy & Donor Forum, Melbourne, 6th May 2014
I am delighted to find myself again in the City of Melbourne, this time to attend this Policy and Donor Forum for the UN Decade of Action. I would like to thank Colin Jordan and the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria for your wonderful hospitality.
As Patron of the Commission for Global Road Safety I am keenly aware of the challenge we all face. The scale of human suffering caused by road crashes requires a high level of commitment from our political leaders, from civil society and from the private sector. It demands daily vigilance and responsibility from all road users.
The strong and continuing support for global road safety by Australia has been vital for building the international consensus that resulted in the Decade of Action. Australia continues to show leadership in funding the work of the Global Road Safety Facility and in advocating at the UN for road safety to be part of the post-2015 agenda.
It is a global ambition grounded in years of achievement within the confines of Australia. The State of Victoria has pioneered many road safety innovations that are now being admired and replicated across the world:
* Your Transport Accident Commission is succeeding in solving a conundrum most other high income countries have not yet even recognised: how to complete the cycle of accountability in road safety while at the same time properly accounting for the social, health and economic costs of road traffic injuries.
* VicRoads has a vital task in enhancing infrastructure safety, and is exporting its expertise throughout the wider Asia Pacific region.
* The Accident Research Centre at Monash University is world leading, and has played a key role in the intellectual and practical development of the Safe Systems approach.
For all these reasons Victoria is a worthy winner of my 'Decade of Action' award for 2014. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting the Premier of Victoria and presenting him with the award. Victoria becomes the third recipient of this most prestigious of my awards, joining the Russian Federation and philanthropist Mike Bloomberg as examples of organisations or individuals that are doing most in the field of road safety to lead by example and fulfil the promise of the Decade of Action.
If this was an award for past achievement alone it would be highly justified. But it also recognises the constant striving for further improvement that characterises the Victorian, and the Australian, approach to road safety. Let me give you two examples.
Yesterday I was pleased to present two Global NCAP awards to recognise achievement in vehicle safety. The Australian New Car Assessment Programme will be familiar to many of you. Over the past 21 years ANCAP has tested and rated more than 400 vehicles, providing transparent and comparative safety information to consumers, and has played a central role in the dramatic improvement in vehicle passive and active safety.
The other award which typifies the Australian attitude to road safety is BHP Billiton, a global company based here in Melbourne, which has introduced a minimum 5 star requirement for both passenger and light commercial vehicles across its international fleet. This pioneering company policy will protect BHP Billiton’s employees and contractors, but also has a major influence on the safety design approach of manufacturers.
Now I turn again to my own Awards, and today we have chosen to highlight three initiatives that, each in their way, are making the Decade of Action a reality. My congratulations to the winners – in each case your contribution has been enormous and a fine example to others.
The Decade of Action is a mosaic of strategies and initiatives, some reaching across nations, others delivering improvements in one small community. But taken together, they represent a significant upswing in awareness and activity, and today's award winners have made a significant contribution to this effort.
Now, as we have heard from several speakers this morning, not least our hugely inspiring Global Ambassador, Michelle Yeoh, we face a challenge. The momentum that built the Decade of Action is fragile, and requires regular injections of new energy. The Global Ministerial Conference in Brazil at the end of next year is an opportunity to renew commitments, deliver new promises and design post-2015 partnerships. Over the course of the next 18 months the international community will finalise the post-2015 sustainable development goals and begin designing means of implementation. We must all do what we can to keep the momentum going and ensure that road safety is an integral part of this process.
So this is a critical time. And we have a target to aim for. Michelle has described it as the Olympics of the international development community.
I would go further. For my British compatriots, and our Australian cousins, I would describe this challenge as being exactly like an Ashes tour. For those of you in the room of other nationalities or not well-versed in the traditions of cricket, I perhaps need to explain: everything is at stake. This is a game that we simply have to win.
But with the strong team we have, represented by all the organisations, governments and businesses in this room, and with a united voice, I am sure that we can deliver the message. This global epidemic of road traffic injuries requires urgent action, and together we can make our roads significantly less dangerous.
Speech by Prince Michael at the Road Safety Awards, 10 Dec 2013
A very warm welcome to you all.
It was really exciting to meet some of this year’s award winners just before lunch. I am however conscious that many of you here are also members of their successful teams and I congratulate you all.
You represent an elite group, you have excelled in providing schemes and initiatives which have really made a difference. Thank you for all you have done and are doing.
It is also good to be able to welcome here today many who in government, in NGOs and in the private sector have added their support to improved road safety not just here in Britain but from across the Globe.
It was in 1987 as the government was launching its new road safety strategy that I created my awards scheme with support from the motor industry. I made my first awards in the following year. The road safety minister whose inspiration and leadership was behind this was Sir Peter Bottomley who I am delighted is with us today together with two other former transport ministers and many sponsors and supporters who have made my award scheme possible. But perhaps more importantly have contributed so much to make our roads as safe as they are now.
Later we will hear a little more about this year’s award winners and I am will also welcome our new road safety minister – Robert Goodwill who I hope will tell us a little more about the long – awaited proposals for novice drivers.
But before lunch I would like to reflect for a moment on what has been achieved and to highlight what more has still to be done.
Looking back on past winners I can see just how many schemes which were so innovative at the time are now seen as essential pillars in making our roads, so much safer today. I am therefore pleased that my awards have been able to recognise the achievements of those who have pioneered these innovations and also those who have committed their energies into ensuring that their ideas have been taken up.
I would like to highlight just a few.
It is now accepted that improvements in vehicle safety have been highly significant in reducing casualties and I would like to pay particular tribute to vehicle manufacturers to rising to the challenge, among these I would like to single out Volvo, a company which as many here know has a vision for zero deaths or serious injuries in its cars by 2020 and which has won more of my awards than any other single organisation.
I would also like to mention Bosch, whose stability control system was first into the market and has led the way for so many active safety systems which are making a real difference to passenger and pedestrian safety.
Above all I would like to congratulate Euro NCAP without which it is unlikely that car safety would have developed as quickly. I am therefore delighted that Max Mosley is here today, but this time backing a new initiative for young drivers.
In the effort to make road users behave responsibly, sound education and effective enforcement have been behind many successful approaches at both community and national level. Successful of speed management schemes and a number of safety camera programmes have won my awards. At local level schemes such as community speed watch have been recognised. I was especially delighted that the National Driver Improvement Scheme which so cleverly links education with enforcement was my Premier Award winner last year.
Public information campaigns such as Think have been highly successful and a number of other local schemes including The Walking Bus, The Children’s Traffic Club, which have won awards over the twenty five years are still flourishing.
Finally I would like to mention the many innovative engineering schemes which have improved the safety of our infrastructure over this time and to congratulate the Road Safety Foundation for EuroRAP. This regular performance survey has stimulated real safety improvement not just here in Britain but across the continent.
But as you all know there is a Global problem.
Thanks to the energy and commitment of the FIA Foundation the true scale of the tragedy facing in developing countries has been highlighted. My thanks and congratulations go to the FIA Foundation for establishing The Commission for Global Road Safety. I would also like to thank its recently retired director general, David Ward for focusing the world’s attention to this problem and for the energy behind the highly effective Make Roads Safe Campaign.
Yes resources are being marshalled and the global plan for The Decade of Action is being delivered, but without continuous and indeed increased effort we will fail to deliver. I am therefore delighted that I am now able to dedicate my awards to support the Global Plan for the Decade of Action.
Earlier in the year I was able to present my awards in a number of countries where there has been real improvement. In Jamaica, I was able to see at first hand the work of the National Road Safety Council. In St Petersburg I presented this year’s Decade of Action Award to the government of The Russian Federation in recognition which has achieved real success at home but which has also led the campaign to achieve UN endorsement for the Decade of Action.
Now today I am delighted that we have with us three more international award winners.
I am particularly grateful to the many companies which embrace the need for effective road safety management within their businesses or have road safety innovation at the heart of what they do. But I would also like to highlight the significant contribution many also make to improved road safety in the communities in which they operate. Shell is a champion among these and I was especially pleased to be able to present my award to that company in Rotterdam earlier in the year. Others include Michelin and Bosch, both represented here today.
I would also like to congratulate all of you here who work in the public sector locally or at national level – over the last few years when funds have been tight, your innovation and enthusiasm to find news ways to work in partnership to deliver improved road safety has been successful. Well done all of you.
I mentioned that my awards scheme has been running for twenty five year, and I know how much winners have enjoyed these events here at The Savoy. Now just before we have lunch I would therefore like to thank Judy Walsh and her loyal group of ladies who have for fifteen years made the event such a success.
After the first course has been cleared, Adrian Walsh will review the winners and introduce The Minister who will make a short speech.
Following lunch and after coffee has been served The Prince announced his Premier Award.
Earlier I mentioned the important role that public education has played in changing the behaviour of road users and we were also reminded that the Christmas Drink Driving campaign was in full swing. The Government’s Think campaign is now fifteen years old. ‘Think’ has become a well recognised brand which stands for so much in road safety. Indeed among government public information campaigns it stands out and is highly respected in the advertising industry as it is in the road safety world. I am therefore delighted that this year my Premier Award goes to the THINK Campaign.
Speech by Prince Michael at the Road Safety Awards, 11 Dec 2012
A very warm welcome to you all, especially to the winners of my awards. A welcome too to the many former award winners - and to all of you who do so much to support and encourage those who deliver road safety on the ground.
Before lunch I would like to reflect for a moment on the importance of leadership in our field.
One year ago, as a result of strong leadership from The FIA Foundation we launched the Global Decade of Action. We did so just at a time when governments had their minds focused on other matters. The financial situation here in Britain and across the world has had a negative impact on road safety. Across Europe casualty rates appeared not to be falling as fast as they should and indeed here in Britain there was alarm because of a slight national increase. Many practitioners forecasted gloom.
However, as so often happens in the face a challenge, the speed of innovation quickens. Today I am delighted to say the scale and diversity of innovation reflected in the achievements of the winners of my awards illustrates how it is possible to achieve more with less. I was delighted to meet the winners earlier today and was impressed by their determination and resourcefulness –theirs is a fine example to others.
I would also like to comment on the leadership and commitment being shown by the private sector.
There is a growing understanding of the business case for increased investment in safety and corporate responsibility.
Earlier this year I was able to present one of my international awards to Michelin – an exemplar of such values. Others such as Capita Symonds, who are generously sponsoring our lunch today and also Bosch which sponsored the Reception are examples of companies which put improved safety at the centre of their businesses.
There are many other companies here today which have similar values – and I thank you all. I also thank you for your commitment to our support and your generous sponsorship. But I have one plea – take the good news to others and show them your example. Governments alone cannot deliver casualty reductions – it also takes community action and business leadership to make the difference.
I would like now to return to the importance of leadership. Earlier in the year I was able to present my first Decade of Action Award to the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg. Not only has his city achieved a casualty reduction on a scale which betters Sweden; but he is also the first major philanthropist to recognise the scale of the global epidemic of road death and injury.
In 2009 his family’s philanthropic multi-million dollar grant for global road safety was an unprecedented call to action. The Bloomberg Philanthropies' 'Road Safety in Ten Countries' programme is now working in partnership with the governments and people most affected by the impact of road crashes. It is an injection of funding that has fostered collaboration and energized these early years of the Decade. But we need government leadership too.
Since I launched my awards back in 1987 specifically to support our government’s road safety strategy, I have been impressed by the leadership shown by many of the ministers in-charge. For some, road safety has become a passion; a fair few have continued to work with us in RoadSafe long after they have retired.
It was therefore with some sadness that last year our minister was not with us to hear at first-hand what was achieved by my award winners. I am therefore delighted that Stephen Hammond was able to be with us earlier to meet the Award winners in person.
What we need is strong government leadership and better coordination within government to improve how we achieve these all important casualty reductions. One topical area which is currently being hotly debated and which really does needs much more thought and action is cycle safety. This is something which I know the government takes seriously and to which it has committed resources but there is one aspect which I particularly wish us to address.
All cyclists will welcome the improved engineering measures which help them, but I and many other road users are increasingly frustrated by the apparent lack of courtesy and perhaps more worrying the flagrant breaches of the Highway Code so commonly seen among these people. Research conducted recently by RoadSafe indicated that in excess of 85 per cent of cyclists actually have driving licences – If they drove as badly as they ride they would be locked up. Frankly they should know better and behave better. If ever there was a case for more effective law enforcement here is one.
If we are to continue to reduce casualties we need to work even more closely together and to share knowledge - we all look to government to lead us in doing so. I call on all of us here to share the knowledge of what we do and to seek to work even more effectively in partnership.
I really do not want to keep you any longer. I will announce my Premier Award later; but before we enjoy our lunch, please may I have a round of applause for this year’s winners.
I do hope that you all enjoyed lunch.
Earlier I mentioned the need for continuing and indeed better enforcement. I fully appreciate that police resources are currently very restricted so we all welcome new technology as a way of countering this. We all also know that without sound education we will make little progress –where we are able to combine these two we are onto a winner. It is for this reason that I am pleased to announce my Premier Award Winner – The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme.