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Pat Foudy receives his award from the Chief Executive of the RSA, Sam Woods.
Pat Foudy receives his award from the Chief Executive of the RSA, Sam Woods.

Road Safety Award for Pat Foudy

Ennis tyre fitter, Pat Foudy’s efforts to help people during the pandemic were recognised at the Road Safety Authority’s Leading Lights Road Safety Awards, which took place at Croke Park on Tuesday.

At the start of the first lockdown, Pat fixed a puncture for a woman and didn’t charge her. She was so grateful, particularly as she was very stressed that day, that Pat decided from then on not to charge for punctures or local callouts.

He gathered all his staff to tell them of the new policy and initially it was only supposed to be for a few weeks but it went on far longer than that and at this stage, Pat and his team at Pat Foudy and Daughter Tyres in Cloughleigh have helped hundreds of people in their hour of need.

Pat Foudy, with his daughter Mary, at the Leading Lights Awards ceremony at Croke Park.
Pat Foudy, with his daughter Mary, at the Leading Lights Awards ceremony at Croke Park.

Pat was nominated for the Road Safety Award by his daughter Mary, on foot of a series of videos Pat appeared in for The Clare Champion to mark Tyre Safety Week.

While shortlisted for an award, the presentation on Tuesday was for Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety, particularly for Pat’s work during the pandemic. It was presented to him by the Chief Executive of the RSA, Sam Woods.

Mr Woods earlier explained the RSA’s Vision Zero plan for there to be no road deaths or serious injuries by 2050. This will be achieved through education, driver assistance systems and even greater crash protection in cars and commercial vehicles.

Other award recipients on the day included educational initiatives including an educational film highlighting the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs, TikTok Mic Drop who encouraged participants to duet a road safety TikTok with a professional presenter, a driving instructor and CPC training organisation, an initiative to teach young children under six years of age the importance of road safety, a project to highlight the dangers of scrambler and quad bikes and various school-based initiatives including a cycle bus to help alleviate congestion at school gates.

Other category winners included BikeSafe, which uses Garda motorcylists to train civilian riders, TruckSafe, which audits road safety compliance in the haulage industry and an intriguing device which gauges as oncoming car’s speed and distance for a visually impaired pedestrian.

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, speaking at the awards ceremony.
Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, speaking at the awards ceremony.

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, outlined the important work of the organisation and praised in particular, the work of the late Gay Byrne in setting up the authority.

Gay’s daughter, Crona, was on hand to present the prize to the overall winner, in conjunction with Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton.

The winner of the overall Leading Lights award was Phil Skelton, who founded the Arrive Alive at 1.5 campaign in 2013. As a result of his work, in 2017 the Rules of the Road were updated to include a recommended minimum passing distance when passing cyclists and legislation was introduced to support this.

Phil continues to promote the 1.5 metre passing distance and the current TV advertising campaign was inspired by his ideas.

Phil Skelton being presented with the overall prize by Liz O’Donnell, RSA Chairperson and Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton.
Phil Skelton being presented with the overall prize by Liz O’Donnell, RSA Chairperson and Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton.

While Vision Zero’s plan to eradicate all road deaths and injuries in less than 20 years is an ambitious one, the initiatives outlined at The Leading Lights Awards will no doubt make that a more realistic target in years to come.

John Galvin

Motoring editor - The Clare Champion

Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association

About John Galvin

Motoring editor - The Clare Champion Former Chairman and voting member of Irish Motoring Writers' Association

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