Williamson Praises Pros and Hails Heroes

  • Maurice Williamson

Twenty five years of accident free driving was recognised today by the Safe Driving Awards presented to three professional drivers by Transport Minister Hon Maurice Williamson.

The Safe Driving Awards ceremony in Wellington also marked the launch of 'Highway Heroes', a new scheme to recognise humanitarian, brave or heroic acts on the roads.

Dennis Courtney, Ian Fryer and Kevin O'Donnell, all of Caltex New Zealand, received the awards for notching up 25 years of accident-free professional driving.

"I am very happy to acknowledge these tremendous achievements. Your safety record is enviable and you've done your industry proud," the Minister said.

"New Zealand's Safe Driving Award scheme which has been running successfully since 1955 will now be complemented by the new 'Highway Heroes' programme. Nominations are now being called for of drivers who have gone beyond the call of duty in the name of public safety.

"We often hear in the media about brave and humanitarian acts on the highways, now it's time to give these heroes their due," Mr Williamson said.

The winner of the inaugural 'Highway Heroes' award will receive a $5,000 cash award plus a trophy.

Only professional truck, bus and coach drivers are eligible. The person who nominates the winner will receive new Dunlop car tyres up to $600 in value.

Nomination forms are available at any Beaurepaires store, at Police stations and by writing to 'Highway Heroes', PO Box 2437, Wellington. The programme, which was initiated by the NZ Police, has been developed by Beaurepaires and is supported by the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA).

The Safe Driving Award scheme, which has been running since 1955, is sponsored by the LTSA and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). This year over 6,500 drivers participated.