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Our Annual Awards Events

Awards Night 2008 - Friday, 28 March 2008

and the winner is....

There was an excellent turn-out of members and guests for the Crewe and Nantwich Advanced Motorists Annual Awards Evening at Legends Social Club on Friday 25th April. The President, Tom Poole, welcomed everyone and introduced the Guest Speakers, David Kenworthy, Chairman of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and Martin Dowle, Road Traffic Collision Reduction Manager of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The primary object of the evening was to award those whose achievements have been outstanding during the past year. Sean Clarke, the group's Chief Observer, presented a Senior Observer Certificate to Ian Hughes, who has recently passed his S.O. examination. Ian was also given an engraved Paperweight in appreciation of his sterling work for the group since becoming an Advanced Driver in September 2002; he has given guidance to twenty-five Associates, organised eleven Skid Pan Training Events and took over the job of Secretary and Associate Liaison during the summer of 2007. In addition to this Ian obtained his RoSPA Gold in 2006.

Kirsty Mullins, who lives in Sandbach and is one of the group's younger Observers, was awarded the 'Alan Collinson Memorial Trophy' for the best Observer of the year; Robert Massey an Approved Driving Instructor, received the 'Frank Dudley Memorial Trophy' for best Associate of the year and David Banister was presented with the 'Young Associate of the Year' award. David is Editor of the C&NAM Newsletter, having stepped into the breach in March when the then Editor moved 'North of the Border'.

In addition to these the Group awarded three trophies to brothers James Darlington and Matthew Darlington and Philip Brown who took the first three places in the final ten lap Grand Prix at a Karting event organised by the group in March of this year.

David Kenworthy, who was a Police Officer for thirty six years, Chairman of the Association of Chief Police Offficers Road Policing Committee and was the person responsible for bringing in the mobile phone law, was appointed Chairman of the Institute at the end of 2007. He said that we have some of the safest roads compared to many other countries in the world, despite this there are 3.500 deaths a year and nearly 30,000 people are seriously injured. The chief cause of accidents is loss of control of a vehicle, which he highlighted by showing footage of the carnage at the Selby rail accident caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel of his vehicle.

David outlined the future aims of the Institute and stressed the importance of road safety education for all road users, but especially the young, inexperienced drivers. There were approximately 7,000 IAM test passes during the year 2006-7, the majority of which were aged from 45-60; in the 17-30 age group there were 1,300 test passes. In view of the fact that about a third of road deaths and serious injuries are among young people aged between 17-25 and often through drink and drugs, the aims of the Institute are to target this age group through ADI's, to encourage as many as possible to further their skills after passing their DSA test by taking the IAM course and examination.

After showing video footage taken at scenes of road traffic collisions of shocking carnage, Martin Dowle, who has been with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for twenty one years, outlined the Road Safety Education projects undertaken by the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and talked about the C F & R S working in partnership with the North West Ambulance Service and the Highways Agency.

The Winsford Service HQ run twenty-seven Drive/Survive One-day courses a year aimed primarily at young adults and Road Safety Road Shows specifically designed for sixth form pupils showing hard hitting video footage of accidents among young drivers and the effects of drink and drugs, plus other associated projects of road safety education. Eighteen per cent of accidents among young drivers are caused by the effects of drugs and the cost to the economy of the death of one young person is £1.6 million let alone the personal loss and grief to family and friends. Martin talked about how deeply affected many of the young people become during road safety presentations.

Red Routes were also highlighted and especially the one along Middlewich Road which has been the scene of so many fatalities, many of them young people. One of the main causes of death and serious injury in collisions is people driving without their seat belts; of 830 drivers stopped by Cheshire Police for minor offences over 600 were seat belt violations. One of the initiatives of Cheshire Police is Police Enforcement Days; already in progress, there will be a total of twenty-four of these until September along the Middlewich Road. Offenders are being given the option to go to the Fire Station for road safety guidance.

Along with the change of name, which is more fitting to the area from which the group draws its members, CANAM has seen other changes in the past year and has quite a lot of 'new blood' on the committee. Chief Observer, Sean Clarke, who came to the group last year as a Senior Observer, and Ian Hughes are progressing with the training of new Observers and the group will soon be in a position to take on more Associates to do the Skills For Life course. The IAM also do Drive Checks during which a driver is observed and given a written assessment; these often lead to people applying to do the Advanced Driving Course. The group's ongoing aims are to educate people with the skills of road craft and to make our roads safer for all users.