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06 Oct 2022

Search is on for Kilkenny's road safety champions

Road Safety Authority calls for Kilkenny nominations for ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards 2022

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is calling on the people of Kilkenny to submit nominations to the national ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards which are returning this year following a two-year absence due to Covid-19.

The awards recognise a group or individual who campaigns, educates, and is committed to improving road safety in their locality and across Ireland, and honours the significant contribution made by people and organisations nationwide in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads.

Nominations are now open and can be submitted online on the Leading Lights webpage on RSA.ie. Entries are encouraged from any individual or group that has made a special contribution to road safety, whether it be big or small, since 2019. 

Anyone submitting a nomination is encouraged to include relevant background information, such as photos, videos, or other supporting documents to enhance their application. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 28.

The 2022 awards will see a continued emphasis on alternative modes of transport with the inclusion of a “Sustainable Travel” award category, which recognises a group or individual who has positively influenced a modal shift to sustainable travel. A ‘’Future Award’’ will be given to an individual, business or organisation that displays innovation and forward-thinking in promoting road safety. In addition, the Media Award, which is aimed at all journalists and media groups, has been renamed the ‘’Gay Byrne Media Award’’ in honour of the former broadcaster and RSA Chairperson.

Announcing the call for entries, Ms Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority said:

"I am delighted to announce that the much-anticipated Leading Lights awards are returning this year. In communities across Kilkenny, there are unsung heroes working to make our roads safer. These awards recognise the unique contributions made by volunteers, teachers, students, businesses, public bodies, journalists, and community groups in Ireland to reduce serious injuries and deaths on our roads. We welcome project entries of all shapes and sizes that have made a positive impact on road safety.

"If you know someone or an organisation that has made a special effort, be it big or small, to promote road safety in your community, I would encourage you to nominate them for this year’s ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards so that we can recognise the important work that they do.”

Ms O’Donnell added: “In December, we launched the fifth Government Road Safety Strategy which aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. It’s the first step towards Vision Zero, Ireland's long-term goal of achieving zero road deaths or serious injuries by 2050. The great work being done in our villages, towns, cities, rural areas and communities by individuals and organisations highlights the shared responsibility we all have in making our roads safe. What may seem like a small contribution can make a huge difference towards achieving these targets.”

Entries will be accepted in each of the following categories:

Road Safety Champion of the Year - This award will be given to an individual who has raised awareness of road safety in their community and who acts as an ambassador for others on how to be road safety aware.
Education: Pre-primary, Primary, Secondary, Special, Third Level/Further and Community Education
Public Sector
Business
Emergency Services
Gay Byrne Media Award
Future Award
Sustainable Travel
Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) of the Year
CPC Trainer/Training Organisation of the Year
The winners in each of these categories will go forward and be in with a chance of winning the Gertie Shields Supreme Award in Road Safety for 2022. This award will be given to the individual or group who in the opinion of the independent judges has made an outstanding contribution to road safety. The supreme award is dedicated to Gertie Shields, an inspirational road safety activist who sadly passed away in 2015 and who won the Supreme Award in 2013 in honour of her campaigns against Drink Driving in Ireland.

Full details on the awards and categories can be found on the Leading Lights webpage on RSA.ie. Nominations should be submitted online and anyone submitting a nomination is encouraged to include relevant background information, such as photos, videos, or other supporting documents to enhance their application. The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, 28 October 2022. The entries will be judged by an expert and independent judging panel.

The winners of each category will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Croke Park, Dublin on December 13.

Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy
Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. This means reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads annually from 144 to 72 or lower and reducing serious injuries from 1,259 to 630 or lower by 2030. 

The strategy is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’. This is to eliminate all road deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by the year 2050.

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