Road Safety GB will become a more inclusive organisation in which clear lines of communication will be key to success – that was the message from incoming chairman Alan Kennedy in his acceptance speech as the organisation’s AGM on 27 April.
Alan, who is road safety section manager at Durham County Council, served two years as Road Safety GB vice-chair before becoming chair at the AGM. Speaking just a few minutes after the membership had voted unanimously to change the organisation’s name from LARSOA to Road Safety GB, Alan reinforced the need for teamwork.
“My vision for the future of Road Safety GB is to see us all working together as a national team with strength in numbers and a greater sharing of our expertise, knowledge and extensive experience,” he said.
Alan went on to stress the need for change with regard to the way the organisation communicates with road safety professionals. “In recent years it has been disappointing to hear some road safety officers saying that they do not know what LARSOA is, and that ‘LARSOA does nothing for me’. A number of newer members do not know who the officers are, or indeed who the chairman is.
“This needs to change under Road Safety GB.”
Speaking about the way road safety professionals work, he said: “We must stay ahead of the game in our casualty reduction work. It is so important that we develop national initiatives that are data led and fully researched.
“We have to get away from ‘feel good’ knee jerk schemes that are based on perception and popularity, that in reality are probably ineffective.
“Instead we must concentrate more on intelligence led initiatives that use our resources properly, and lead to real casualty reduction.”
He also spoke of the ‘tough decisions’ that lie ahead for Road Safety GB, particularly with regard to investment from members.
“Of course there will be tough decisions to make,” he said. “If this association is to be at the top of the tree it will need to invest – and that may require a greater investment from the membership. We will need to work smarter and become more efficient with our resources, and will need to become much more commercially aware to ensure we remain viable.”