A Northland community group has been recognised with a national award for its work on reducing harm on the region's roads, particularly for young people.

During Road Safety Week last week, the team at Road Safety Education (RSE), a nationwide organisation, held the first ever Road Safety Awards.

RoadSafe Northland won the AMI Community Award, which recognises outstanding work by a community group to lower road tragedies and provide support and education for their communities.

The inaugural award was presented to Gillian Archer, from the Northland Road Safety Trust.

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RoadSafe Northland is a Northland collective of road safety partners and agencies, under the umbrella of the Northland Road Safety Trust. The charitable trust funds, delivers and supports road safety initiatives in the region on behalf of the Whangārei and Kaipara Districts and the Northland Transportation Alliance, comprising all four Northland councils.

Gillian Archer, from the Northland Road Safety Trust, and Northland police deployment manager Inspector Murray Hodson, were appealing for smoke-free cars back in 2015.
Gillian Archer, from the Northland Road Safety Trust, and Northland police deployment manager Inspector Murray Hodson, were appealing for smoke-free cars back in 2015.

While Northland, like the rest of the country, has a challenging road toll, the incidence of young drivers in fatal and serious crashes has significantly reduced in the last couple of years, the organisation says.

Road Safety Education Programmes such as RYDA, where nearly 5000 Northland students have participated since inception in 2009, has provided a significant contribution to this reduction.

"I want to thank Road Safety Education and AMI for the AMI Community Award, for recognising the significant partnership that has allowed this programme to develop and grow in our area. It is timely to acknowledge the many local community partners who have supported this programme over the years,'' Archer said on receiving the award.

''As well as the significant support from local AMI staff and the RYDA team, we have a range of contributors including loan cars provided by Dargaville Ford and Pacific Ford, catering by Rapid Relief Team, support staff from People Potential and Rotary and additional funding from COGS and The Warehouse Dargaville, and of course both Whangārei and Kaipara Councils.

"This award is for all of these partners who have made such a significant Young Driver programme possible."