Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, is the latest confirmed speaker for the National Road Safety Conference in November 2013.
The 2013 National Conference is being organised by Road Safety GB Yorkshire & Humber Region. It will be held in Harrogate 13-14 November, and is sponsored by Colas, AA DriveTech and FirstCar.
The event looks set to be a big success. Almost 200 people have registred to attend and the exhibition that runs alongside the conference is now fully subscribed, with 22 organisations participating.
Michael McDonnell began his career as a primary school teacher before returning to college in 1981. After gaining a Diploma in Theology and a Degree in Divinity, Michael returned briefly to teaching before taking up a career in road safety, originally as a local road safety training officer with Strathclyde Regional Council and then with RoSPA. He joined RoSPA in 1990 as road safety manager (Scotland) and, as part of this role, served as secretary to the Scottish Accident Prevention Council.
Michael became very involved with the Scottish Road Safety Campaign (SRSC) and was the longest-serving member before taking up the post of director in 2004. One of his early contributions was to change the name of the organisation from the Scottish Road Safety Campaign to Road Safety Scotland.
In addition to his overall responsibility for Road Safety Scotland, Michael has a specific responsibility for the organisation’s advertising and publicity initiatives, dealing with issues such as drink- and drug-driving, seatbelt-wearing, and country roads. He is an advocate of the lifelong learning approach to road safety education, based on the fact that the types of attitudes and behaviours which young drivers exhibit are laid down at a very early age, probably before they leave primary school.
Michael also sits on Police Scotland’s National Campaigns’ Working Group, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Business Stream, and on the Department for Transport’s National Implementation Group.
In his presentation, Michael will talk about Road Safety Scotland’s approach to education, training and publicity, before going on to cover the recent Country Roads and parental influence (Kids in the Car) campaigns, and forthcoming drink-drive activity.