National awards for passionate
road safety professionals


National awards have been presented to six passionate road safety professionals for their commitment to reducing deaths and injuries on the roads.

Rhiannon Leeds, of the Lancashire Road Safety Partnership, Rob Lowe, of Transport for London and Insp Jon Curtis, of Durham Constabulary, received the Road Safety Support (RSS) Award for Individual Excellence in Promotion of Road Safety.

The Road Safety Support Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Road Safety was also awarded to Peter Burke, of Northumbria police, Sgt Rob Heard, of Hampshire Constabulary and Norman Gilhooly, of Cubic.

The group, who were all nominated by colleagues, were presented with the awards at the National Safer Roads Partnerships’ Conference last month.

About the award winners:

The Annual Road Safety Support Award for Individual Excellence in Promotion of Road Safety

Rhiannon Leeds, Partnership Co-ordinator, Lancashire Road Safety Partnership (pictured above receiving her award from Meredydd Hughes, Chairman, RSS)

Rhiannon has been involved in road safety in Lancashire for the last 17 years, working on campaigns such as RideSafe BackSafe, Missing Matthew, Nearly Home and the Right Track.

She has implemented programmes which have been delivered to over 50,000 high school students across the Lancashire area.

With her personal touch, she has the ability to understand and engage with young road users delivering campaigns via many platforms, and source funding for websites and road safety films. Rhiannon regularly interacts with bereaved families, providing support and a voice to their concerns.

What her colleagues said: “She’s the glue that keeps us all together.”

Rob Lowe, Operational Policy Manager, Transport for London (TfL)

Rob has worked in road safety for many years and is responsible for co-ordinating London’s speed reduction strategic policy.

He plays a pivotal role in linking together the many stakeholders in London’s ‘Vision Zero’ action plan.

Prior to that, Rob led on TfL’s approach to freight enforcement in order to better target the most dangerous and non-compliant drivers, vehicles and operators on London’s roads.

What his colleagues said: “He has a ‘can-do’ and ‘will-do’ attitude, often in the face of setbacks.”

Jon Curtis, Inspector, Durham Constabulary

In the last three years, Jon, of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, has become a champion for road safety.

The award was in recognition of his dedication to improving road safety and raising public awareness of road safety issues. He was at the forefront of a number of campaigns, leading the messages to get the community on board.

What his colleagues said: “His knowledge, understanding and capacity to push road safety up the agenda is a testament to his tenacity and determination.”

The Annual Road Safety Support Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution to Road Safety

Rob Heard, Sergeant, Hampshire Constabulary

Rob joined the police force to become a traffic officer and became an advance motorcyclist as well as an advanced car driver.

He was a Senior Investigating officer and investigated fatal collisions at the highest level. In 2011, he dealt with a fatal collision involving an 89-year-old, who killed a 28-year-old motorist after driving down a dual carriageway the wrong way. This case led him to write a research document on older drivers.

Following this, he set up the Older Drivers’ Forum and website which gives help and support to the mature motorist on driving safely for longer. It is now nationally recognised and he was the lead nationally for the police on older drivers.

What his colleagues said: “His work has been recognised and highly commended by Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards. He has also been recognised with two national ‘Outstanding Contributions to Road Safety’ awards for this work."

Peter Burke, Team Leader, Northumbria Police Camera Enforcement Unit

Peter took on the role within the police department, wanting to ensure that the unit grew to incorporate initiatives such as community speed watch.

His determination ensured that the role and importance of the team were paramount to reducing road casualties in the NE region in its use of speed enforcement in changing drivers’ behaviour.

He was formerly a member of the Road Safety Support National Conference Committee.

What his colleagues said: “He’s incredibly proactive and has always been happy to get involved and help any of the team when required.”

Norman Gilhooly, Service Operations, Cubic Transportation Systems Ltd

Norman has recently retired after a career in traffic enforcement spanning more than 40 years.

His career began at the age of 16 and since then he has worked at GEC, Serco and finally Cubic.

What his colleagues said: “He’s a very approachable and knowledgeable person with a long history in the use of cameras in enforcement.”

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