Cheshire East Council has been honoured for reducing the number of fatal road traffic accidents.
The Council’s partnership with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – the first of its kind in the country – has won the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.
The Council commissioned the fire service’s road safety team to carry out road safety education at all Cheshire East’s schools – covering almost 11,000 children at 130 primary schools and 21 high schools.
The partnership’s work is so impressive that it has won public recognition as one of the most outstanding examples of international road safety initiatives.
There were 28 road deaths in Cheshire in 2013, down from 79 in 2007.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “What a tremendous achievement by the partnership, helping to make our roads so much safer.
“But, as a responsible authority, we will not stop there – we intend to renew this arrangement with the fire service to ensure that we continue to educate our young people about road safety and further reduce road deaths.”
The partnership was commended for its ‘high level of leadership’ and ‘effective deployment of resources to making roads safer’ in what is the first instance of a fire and rescue service being commissioned to deliver this educational work in the UK.
All lessons use a mix of teaching and interactive learning techniques including speaker presentations, DVDs, picture boards, group discussions and case study examples.
The aim is to ensure each student has a far better understanding of road safety and in-car safety, not only as a pedestrian but also as a passenger and general road user, thus reducing the number of children dying and being seriously injured on the roads.
Fire Authority member and Cheshire East Councillor Bill Livesley, and Martin Dowle, Prevention Safety Manager for Cheshire Fire Service, will attend the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards at the Savoy in London on December 9.
Martin said: “The award was really the icing on the cake and the result of all the hard work we have done with Cheshire East.
“We have been recognised for the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. This is about making people safer and educating young people.
“This particular initiative has been in partnership with Cheshire East Council and has been hugely successful in communicating vital information and education to young children in schools and I am so pleased it has been recognised with this prestigious award.”