Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be here today (10 December 2013), an event that marks the first quarter century of the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards.
I will keep my remarks very brief as I am sure you are all keen to eat your main course.
Since 1987 these awards have recognised the achievements and innovations that have done so much to transform attitudes to road safety by governments, industry and, perhaps most importantly, amongst the public at large.
Improving road safety is absolutely essential.
According to the World Health Organisation, road traffic injuries are among the top ten causes of healthy years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death world-wide.
And, as these awards show, reducing the number of people killed and injured on the roads is within our control.
When these awards began more than 14 people a day died on Britain’s roads.
But despite car journeys increasing by 86% over a similar period, last year the number of deaths had declined to four a day.
Although one life is always one too many, that decline is the result of the huge improvements to road safety that these awards have inspired and celebrated.
But it also demonstrates that there remains further to go.
That’s why we remain absolutely committed to continuing to working with industry, with local government and with the voluntary and community sector to improve road safety in Britain.
I was therefore delighted that both the SHARP motorcycle safety campaign and the THINK! drink driving campaigns have been recognised by these prestigious awards.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked on both campaigns.
You have done a fantastic job. Your campaigns will save lives.
Finally, I’d also like to thanks the sponsors and congratulate RoadSafe on this event, and thank Adrian Walsh and his team for the vital work they do.
I’d also like to congratulate all of you here today (10 December 2013), you have made such a difference to people’s lives through your work. I know the judges were very impressed by the quality of nominations this year.
Thank you for listening. I wish all the nominees for the premier award good luck.