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Have you campaigned to make the roads safer in your area? Do you know someone who has?

Whether it’s a local business or pre-school, a member of the emergency services or your next-door neighbour, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) would like to hear about – and for you to nominate – them for a road safety award.

For the 12th year running, the RSA is holding its Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards, honouring the unsung heroes who show a commitment to improving road safety by campaigning and educating others.

They are asking you to nominate those volunteers, teachers, students, businesses, journalists, organisations and community groups who work relentlessly to make the roads safer for all.

Of course, if you would like to make the nomination yourself that’s OK too.

Maybe, for example, you are a business leading the way when it comes to the safety of your staff who drive for work?

Picking up a Leading Light Award could provide that competitive advantage when pitching for business.

The students of Castletown Girls National School in Dundalk, Co Louth, took home the top award at the 2018 ceremony, winning the Gertie Shields Supreme Award.

The students created a committee which regularly meets to discuss ideas and initiatives to improve road safety in their area.

Their campaign was designed to tackle the problem of parents using mobile phones while driving, encouraging pupils to become ‘mobile phone sheriffs’ when in the car and creating a bumper sticker with the slogan ‘Keep me safe, phones can wait’.

In 2017, Richard Alcorn was the Supreme Award winner.

The survivor of a road traffic collision in which he lost an arm, broke his neck and broke both hips, Richard freely dedicates his time to getting road safety messages across to young adults in schools nationwide.

The judges were impressed by his commitment to advocating a road safety message in his home county of Donegal and further afield.

With 11 categories open for nomination, the RSA wants to hear inspiring stories from your local community or organisation, so they can be recognised.

Gertie Shields, after whom the award is named, was one of the country’s first standard- bearers for road safety.

After her daughter was killed by a drunk driver in 1983, she founded Mothers Against Drink Driving, known as Madd. She worked tirelessly to change the drink-drive laws here.

An inspirational road safety activist, she won the Supreme Award in 2013 but sadly Gertie passed away in 2015.

The Supreme Award is named in honour of Gertie and presented to those who epitomise the dedication and commitment shown by her to make our roads a safer place for everyone.

There are campaigners and educators around the country who have uplifting stories that deserve to be told.

By taking the time to nominate them for a Leading Light award, you can help share their message with the country.

It could also be something that can be shared and replicated by others around the country to make their communities safer.

If you wish, you can go to the Leading Lights website and fill out the online nomination form.

Please don’t be shy – give as much information as possible about your nominee’s story.

Successful entrants will be invited to an award ceremony in Croke Park in Dublin in December.

So nominations for the Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards 2019 are now officially open.

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