2011 Leading Lights Winners

Read about this years Leading Lights award winners. 

The Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of people to improve road safety in their communities. The awards provide a special opportunity for members of the public to honour the contribution of exceptional people to making our roads safer for everyone.

The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 12th October 2011 in Farmleigh, where the Supreme Award winner was presented to an individual for the most innovative and outstanding road safety initiative, and for their leadership and exemplary dedication to the area of road safety.

Award Winners

Niamh Kearney and Tadgh O’Shea from Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in Bantry, won the Road Safety Authority (RSA) ‘Supreme Award’ for road safety.Working closely with the Gardai, they monitored the speed of cars passing through the village over a period of two days and came up with a solution to encourage cars to drive more slowly.

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Pictured at the Road Safety Authority's 2011 'Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards' at Farmleigh is 'Supreme Award' winners Niamh Kearney and Tadgh O’Shea from Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in Bantry.

Leading Lights in Road Safety were handed out in thirteen categories including Education(Primary, Secondary and Third Level and  Community), Road Safety Officer, Public Sector, Local Media, National Media, Business, Approved Driving Instructor, Young Road Safety Ambassador and Road Safety Ambassador.

The award winners are as follows:

Category Awarded to
Education(Primary) Award was awarded to St Patrick’s Boys’ National School in Donabate for making road safety part of their school curriculum, including their annual Road Safety Week which has been in place since 2005 and highlights the importance of road safety to schoolchildren, parents and community in Donabate.
Education(Secondary) Award was awarded to Niamh Kearney and Tadgh O’Shea from Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí in Bantry for their traffic calming initiative. Niamh and Tadgh also won the ‘Supreme Award’.
Education(Third Level) Award was awarded to Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union for their Road Safety Week which demonstrates the importance of road safety to students at WIT through stark and realistic portrayals of the risks associated with dangerous driving.
Community Education Award was presented to the Irish Girl Guides for their work to promote road safety through their Road Safety Programme and the Road Safety Badge. Since 2009, a total of 5,152 road safety badges have been earned by members of the Irish Girl Guides.
Road Safety Officer Two ‘Road Safety Officer’ Awards were presented to Barry Keating from Clare County Council and Declan Keogh from Kildare County Council for their work to promote road safety in Clare and Kildare through ongoing, active road safety initiatives and by supporting and complementing the work of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána through local and national campaigns.
Public Sector Award was presented to Meath County Council for its commitment to Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation as the basis for improving road safety and reducing the numbers of people killed and injured on Meath roads. Meath County Council has produced two road safety plans, the most recent from 2010 to 2012. As a result, road fatalities have dropped from 30 in 2005 to 6 in 2010.
Local Media Award was presented to iRadio for their consistent promotion of road safety through interviews with road safety experts, those who have lost loved ones on the roads and the delivery of road safety messages through traffic bulletins. In December 2010, they put together a documentary on the crash in Buncrana in which eight young people lost their lives. They also ran a road safety fortnight at the beginning of the year with messages from the on air staff to slow down on the roads.
National Media

Award was presented to Paul Melia and Treacy Hogan from the Irish Independent for consistently highlighting road safety through breaking news stories and comprehensive analysis of road safety issues. Paul and Treacy have kept road safety high on the national news agenda and have repeatedly highlighted the dangers caused by speeding, drink-driving and other dangerous behaviours, while acknowledging that most young drivers obey the law.

Business Award was presented to Gielty’s Bar and Restaurant in Achill Island. Alan Gielty, Proprietor, wanted to keep the traditional Irish meeting place alive and ensure that the locals could continue to enjoy their social lives. He purchased a mini bus, branded with the slogan ‘You Drink, We Drive’ which allows people anywhere on the island to call Alan at any time to get a lift to and from the pub. This initiative allows people to get to the pub for a drink, comfortable in the knowledge that they have a safe way home at the end of the night.
Approved Driving Instructor(Motorcycles) Award was presented to Aidan Sheehan who has been an ADI since June 2009. He is also approved as an Initial Basic Training (IBT) provider and has a centre in Dunshaughlin Co. Meath. Aidan was chosen for this award because of his high level of knowledge and understanding as well as a very high level of practical riding skill, which is essential for those seeking to act as mentors for our young learners.
Approved Driving Instructor(Cars) Award was presented to Tomas O’Callaghan who became approved as a car Instructor (Category B) in March 2011. He works in the Southeast area and specialises in providing training for learners with disabilities. He also assists medical professionals by carrying out assessments of some drivers to help medical practitioners determine whether or not any restrictions should be placed on their driving licence or Learner permit.
Young Road Safety Ambassador Award was presented to Mark O’Neill from Waterford who set up a website for his peers, www.thinksafetydrivesafely.com as part of a project for his Leaving Cert. Mark wanted to ensure that relevant information was available to young people who wish to find out more about their driving test, driving lessons or road safety in general.
Road Safety Ambassador Award was presented to Garda Andrew Keegan from Enniscrone, Co. Sligo who has worked with his local primary school for many years, helping to instill lifelong road safety skills in the pupils. In addition to regular road safety workshops and cycling skills training, Andrew also organises, trains and oversees the Junior School Warden Scheme.

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Pictured Pupils from St Patrick’s Boys’ National School in Donabate, who won the Education(Primary) category.  

The ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards are just one of the events taking place during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which was held from Monday 10th October to Sunday 16th October 2011.