Big Derry representation at Road Safety Awards 2018
Road safety champions from N.Ireland were recognised last week for their contribution to helping improve safety in their communities.
And there were four local winners at the awards - Michael Feeney, Danny Toland, Peter Melarky and Derry and Strabane Policing & Community Safety Partnership.
The winners included individuals, organisations and special projects from across the voluntary, education, emergency service and business sectors.
The awards, now in their fourth year, are organised by Road Safe NI Charity and leading accident management specialist, CRASH Services.
A total of 14 awards were presented at an event last Friday night, attended by more than 100 specially invited guests at Cultra Manor, in Holywood, Co. Down.
Michael Feeney from Greenhaw Primary School won the lollipop man category.
His nomination form said: “Michael performs his duties with great pride. He takes time with both pupils and parents to ensure they are aware of the dangers around the roads.
“He is noted for his pleasant and generous nature.
“What really sets Michael apart is taking the time to deliver extra classroom based road safety talks tailored to each age group.
“He has designed his own visual aids and ensures all pupils participate. In addition, he will take out a Primary 3 Class each year to practise the Green Cross Code.”
Danny Toland was the winner in Driving Instructor category, having taught a full generation of Derry drivers over the last 30 years.
His nomination form said: “He holds the highest possible grade as a driving instructor.
“He is well known for taking on challenging pupils with learning difficulties or very anxious pupils. He also coached other instructors on how to support pupils who are struggling to progress.
“This instructor has delivered training for organisations like Foster Care NI. When the core funded lessons are completed, he has taught pupils pro bono without their knowledge so they can get qualified.
“Danny will also go the extra mile for his pupils by providing theory test help at no extra cost. They also use social media to promote driving tips to a wider audience. He is a great role model for all driving instructors.”
Station Commander Peter Melarky took home the Emergency Services prize.
Peter, from Co. Derry, has served with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service for over 29 years.
Starting as a firefighter, he has since worked his way up through the ranks to his current position as Station Commander.
“During his career, he has held the position of fire service driving instructor, helping 100s of drivers achieve their LGV license, helping others become blue light drivers and maintaining their skills.
“He has always taken a keen interest in his own personal development by taking further training courses.
“He provides an excellent link between the Fire Service and the voluntary road safety sector.
“He has a clear passion for road safety and is involved in a number of road safety projects.
“Most notably he has served as a main quiz master in the Northern Ireland Primary School Road Safety quiz heats and final.
“He is extremely popular with pupils and teachers as he ensures the quiz is delivered in a fun and engaging way,” his nomination form said.
Pat Martin MBE, Chairperson of Road Safe NI said: “We had a fantastic response to the awards again.
“There is such a vibrant and committed road safety community working all over the North.
“We are delighted to play our part in recognising those who go the extra mile.
“The winning entries really stood out for their efforts over a long period of time and for delivering innovative projects.
“There is so much good work going on across our schools, local communities, emergency services and businesses.
“The award winners are an inspiration to others and they is no question their efforts are saving lives on the road.
Jonathan McKeown, CEO of CRASH Services, added: “As a business with close connections to road users we are honoured to support the N. Ireland Road Safety Awards.
“We congratulate everyone for their extraordinary commitment to road safety.”