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Leading lights in road safety awards

Do you know a Leading Light in road safety?

Do you know an individual, school, business or organisation who is committed to making our roads safer? Our ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards’ are back and nominations are now open for 2023!

Now in their fourteenth year, the awards will recognise and honour the contribution made by individuals, groups and communities from all over Ireland in reducing serious injuries and deaths on our roads.

Entrants will be recognised for not only making Ireland’s roads safer, but for their contribution to Ireland’s journey toward Vision Zero – zero road deaths and serious injuries by 2050.

Important dates

Closing date for ADI category 25 August
Closing date for all other categories 13 October
Shortlisting & Judging  October
Awards Ceremony7 December

Terms and Conditions

Submitting a nomination for Leading Lights couldn’t be easier, but there are some important things to remember before you submit:

  • You cannot nominate yourself for a Leading Light Award.
  • You must get permission from the group or project leader before you make the nomination.
  • You will need to confirm this and provide the group or project leader's contact details on the application form before you click submit.

Nominations will not be accepted:

  • from group members or individuals involved in a nominated project
  • from relatives of group members or individuals involved in the project
  • if you haven't got permission from the group  or project leader
  • for / from members of the RSA Board, employees or contractors
  • if the approved application form is not being used

The decision of the judging panel on all aspects of the judging process is final.

If your group or project is chosen to win an award, you must have a photograph ready for submission.
Any supporting material uploaded - video files, audio files, photos or images - that you think will help demonstrate why this project deserves a Leading Light Award is limited to 32MB in total size. Supporting material should include one high resolution photo of the project if possible and must be labelled with the name of the person who is nominating.

Award categories

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. The individual will have clearly demonstrated a positive impact on road safety in Ireland.

Awards will be given for the design and originality of educational initiatives, from early childhood to third level and community, which have made a significant impact on the teaching or practice of road safety within an educational environment.

Nominations will be accepted under the following sub-categories. It is at the discretion of the judging panel, however, how many awards will be presented in the overall area of education.

  • Pre-primary
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Special education
  • Third Level / Further education
  • Community education
This award will be given to a public sector or semi-state organisation, Local Authority or other government agency, who has committed to promoting road safety in their organisation and who has made a significant contribution to safer roads in their community.
This award will be given to individuals or groups within the Emergency Services (i.e. An Garda Síochána, Ambulance, Fire personnel) who have made an outstanding contribution to road safety in their community. Interested emergency service personnel may be nominated by a colleague or a member of the public.
This new award will be given to national / local media group or individual who have made an outstanding contribution to road safety through the media.
This award will be presented to a business or organisation that has shown commitment to road safety by encouraging safe driving practices to all its staff or safer vehicle operations within its organisation.
This award will be given to an individual, business or organisation that displays innovation and forward-thinking in promoting road safety. The purpose of this award is to highlight technological innovations that have a demonstrably positive impact on road safety and an actual or future contribution to saving lives.
This award will be presented to a group / individual who has demonstrated, through a road safety initiative, a positive influence for a modal shift to sustainable or active travel.  Initiatives to assist vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, younger children and older adults) will be of particular interest. A few examples of such initiatives are park and ride facilities, park and stride facilities, walking buses, cycling facilities etc. Clear road safety and legal considerations must be evident in the description of the initiative.
This award will be presented to one ADI across all entries, in any vehicle category. The criteria for all ADI’s is the same and can be viewed here - Leading Lights Awards - Approved Driving Instructor Criteria. Please read these guidelines carefully.
This award will be presented to a CPC Training Organisation / Trainer who has demonstrated commitment to road safety through the delivery of the CPC programme. The winning trainer / organisation will be selected on the basis of feedback provided by drivers who attended the periodic training days and so this category is not open to public nominations

What we're looking for

Projects must demonstrate commitment to saving lives and reducing serious injuries on our roads. Initiatives will be judged based on evidence provided of long-term commitment. Initiatives which have not been fully rolled out or where there is no clear evidence of a willingness to commit will not be considered.
Projects must be designed to allow replication country-wide in the event that there is interest from any other individual/group or organisation in running a similar initiative. This will be measured by assessing the level of ease and practicality involved in other groups / individuals rolling it out in other areas of Ireland.
We are looking for evidence of a high level of teamwork, partnerships and collaboration among groups or individuals with other diverse groups. Projects should demonstrate links with a range of relevant organisations to include key community and voluntary interests, learners, employers and relevant state agencies.
Projects should be able to demonstrate evidence of positive changes in behaviour. To be judged effectively, the project needs to be established and given reasonable time to give it the best chance of being able to demonstrate a positive change in behaviour. A project in its infancy may not have the necessary evidence and in turn would be difficult to judge so we would advise that these projects are nominated in the future, when they are more established.

How to nominate

Once you've read over our terms and conditions above, you can submit a nomination for our Leading Light award by clicking on the relevant link below.



Individual, group or project

Closing date was 13 October 2023


Approved Driving Instructor

Judging and awards ceremony

The judging will take place in two stages. First, an internal RSA judging panel will review all entries and narrow them down into a shortlist of three finalists in each category. The shortlisted entries will then be judged by a panel of high profile individuals.

The decision of the judging panel on all aspects of the awards process is final.

One award will be presented to the winner of each category.

The Gertie Shields Supreme Award will be presented to one of the category award winners. The winner of this award will be chosen by our judging panel and so it is not possible to nominate specifically for this award. This supreme award will be presented to an individual or group for the most innovative and outstanding road safety initiative, or for their leadership and exemplary dedication to the area of road safety. The Supreme Award was renamed the ‘Gertie Shields Supreme Award’ in honour of the inspirational road safety activist and 2013 recipient of the award, who sadly passed away in 2015.

On occasion, a ‘Special Recognition’ award may be presented to a group / individual at the discretion of the judging panel. An example of where this award might be presented is in a situation where the nomination is deemed worthy of an award however, it may not necessarily fit into any of the clear nomination categories and their respective selection criteria outlined. There is no compulsion to present this award every year or restriction on the number presented in any given year, but rather they are presented at the discretion of the judging panel.

Winners will be celebrated and presented with specially commissioned and personalised awards at the Leading Lights Awards Ceremony at the RDS on the 7 December 2023 and will join the Leading Lights Awards Hall of Fame.

Wexford Native, Phil Skelton, whose cycling campaign, “Arrive Alive at 1.5”, inspired changes to the official Rules of the Road was awarded the Road Safety Authority (RSA) ‘Gertie Shields Supreme Award’ in road safety for 2022. 

Phil Skelton founded the “Arrive Alive at 1.5” campaign in 2013 following his own near miss of a close passing car. Phil advocated for greater driver education around a minimum passing distance for vehicles overtaking cyclists. As a result of Phil’s campaigning, the Rules of the Road were updated to reflect a minimum passing distance of at least 1.5 metres for drivers travelling in speed zones over 50km/h, and at least 1metre in speed zones under 50km/h.