Ireland: Operation Enable wins RSA 'Leading Lights' award

Published Tue, 19/12/2017 - 12:06

On the 13th December last in Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland’s Road Safety Authority held their annual ‘Leading Lights’ Awards Ceremony. Now in their tenth year the ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards’ recognise and honour the contribution made by people nationwide in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Awards are presented in 25 categories to individuals or organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to road safety in their respective fields.

Winner of a ‘Special Recognition Award’ in the Emergency Services Category this year was Sergeant Peter Woods, Dublin Metropolitan Regional Roads Policing in Dublin Castle. Sergeant Woods was presented with the award for ‘Operation Enable’ an initiative he developed to tackle the misuse of the disabled parking permit system in Dublin. Following a conversation with a disabled motorist in December 2016, Sergeant Woods decided to put together an operation to take a closer look at the difficulties caused for disabled motorists by the misuse of disabled parking bays and parking permits in the Dublin City area. Sergeant Woods approached a number of stakeholders, including the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Disabled Drivers Association, Dublin City Council and Dublin Street Parking Services and it was agreed to work together on the project. Since its inception in March of this year, ‘Operation Enable’ has proven hugely successful in apprehending offenders abusing the permit system and raising public awareness on the importance of the facilities provided for disabled motorists. The operation has gained significant traction through a high-profile social media campaign, resulting in further coverage in mainstream media and on national TV. The success of ‘Operation Enable’ in the Dublin area has seen it replicated in other regions around Ireland, with similar success.