The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has presented its first awards to recognise the achievements of advanced driving and riding groups.

    The RoADAR Awards were initiated to highlight the hard work and dedication of volunteers from RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (RoADAR) groups, of which there are more than 50 across the UK.

    RoSPA, a charity with road safety roots stretching back to 1916, wanted to show its appreciation for the groups’ efforts to promote advanced driving and riding and other road safety initiatives. Judges were particularly keen to hear about: how groups had raised awareness of advanced driving or riding to both young and older drivers during 2011; partnerships with like-minded organisations; and, general group promotional activities.

    The 2011 winners were:

    •  1st – Manchester Group of RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders, winning £1,000
    • 2nd – RoADAR Merseyside – Motorcycle Group, winning £500
    • Runners-up – Cambridgeshire Advanced Drivers and Riders; Shropshire and Powys Advanced Riders; and West Midlands Advanced Motorcyclists Group, all winning £250.

    After giving presentations to the judging panel, the successful groups received their prizes at RoSPA House, in Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Saturday.

    Bob Smalley, RoSPA’s chief driving examiner, said: “RoADAR aims to show how improved skills can play a part in saving lives and reducing injuries on the road and also to help drivers and riders get more enjoyment from being behind the wheel or on their motorcycle. Local groups are run by volunteers who invest their time and energy into keeping the network going and enabling more people to benefit from it. We were therefore delighted to introduce the RoADAR Awards this year to recognise the efforts of these dedicated volunteers.”

    Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “The activities of the five award-winning groups provide a snapshot of the wealth of hard work going on across the UK. We offer the members of these groups our particular congratulations on their success in the inaugural RoADAR Awards, but we would also like to extend our thanks to the members of other RoADAR groups for their hard work.”

    Local RoADAR groups offer free assessments and training for people who are interested in becoming advanced drivers or riders. Volunteer observers mentor potential candidates until they are ready to take the RoSPA Advanced Driving Test or RoSPA Advanced Riding Test – which represent the pinnacle in civilian motoring.

    It is 30 years since the League of Safe Drivers was incorporated into RoSPA, being renamed the RoSPA Advanced Drivers Association. In 2006, the current name – RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders – was adopted to recognise the increasing motorcyclist membership. More information about RoADAR is available at