Sergeant Olly Tayler, founder of ‘The Honest Truth’ campaign, has been presented with the prestigious Queen’s Police Medal by Her Majesty the Queen.
Sergeant Tayler was recognised in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List and received the award when he visited Buckingham Palace on 9 October.
Olly Tayler has served Devon and Cornwall Police for 23 years and has been instrumental in developing ‘The Honest Truth’ young driver campaign which is now a road safety charity.
The Honest Truth was set up following a collision in South Devon that claimed three young lives in 2009. A partnership between the police, fire, local authorities and approved driving instructors, The Honest Truth delivers messages about drink, drugs, speed, mobile phones, seatbelts, distractions, showing off and tiredness.
The campaign is now running in Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Swindon, Dorset, Essex, Somerset, Staffordshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Kent, Hertfordshire, Shropshire, Norfolk and North Yorkshire.
The campaign uses animal/human hybrid characters to represent ‘negative behaviour’ by drivers or passengers. For example, drivers are described as cheetahs if they drive too fast and parrots if they use their mobile phone. Instructors use the animal comparisons to make learner drivers aware of these negative driving traits and provide encouragement to avoid them.
Olly Tayler said, “I am very proud to have been honoured with this award, and to have had the Queen herself present it to me was the highlight of my career to date. She asked me about my work with young drivers.
“I would just like to thank everyone who has been involved in The Honest Truth as without every one of them it wouldn’t have been such a success that it has and continues to be.”
Chief superintendent Jim Nye, head of operations for Devon, Cornwall and Dorset Police and the chair of trustees for The Honest Truth Charity, said: “I am delighted Olly has been recognised for his work with The Honest Truth. There is no doubt the initiative would not have been the national success it is without his leadership, passion and commitment. Olly has helped save lives.”