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OBE - Response by David Lyle

11th June 2011

It's a real honour to serve the community in the area of road safety, because it is all about making a real and profound difference to people's lives.

It's also a real honour to contribute to one of Northern Ireland's major public policy successes, driven by consistent government strategies since 1995.

The beautiful thing about road safety is that it is so entirely measurable.

As a result, Oxford Economics reported this April that 19,505 people were alive in Northern Ireland who otherwise would have been killed or seriously injured on our roads, 1995 to 2010*. This is a huge achievement - but the success forces us to see how much more we all must do, to save even more lives from road tragedy.

In all this, road safety advertising does not act alone, but works in a much bigger picture involving emergency services and engineering action. The latest Oxford Economics report shows this, but calculates the economic payback of road safety advertising in Northern Ireland at £39 per £1 invested by DOE (including human costs).

This is about the power of road safety advertising to save lives - and deliver widespread economic benefits to society.

Many of these campaigns were designed as part of North-South launches and we ran them in the Republic as well. Oxford Economics reported in September 2010 that 37,136 people were saved from death or serious injury on the Republic's roads, 1996 to 2008**.

This means that our campaigns contributed to a human saving of 56,641 lives on this island, saved from road tragedy.

There is a human dimension to 56,641 lives saved, of families preserved, of lives being fulfilled, that is simply beyond measurement.

Finally, this honour makes me think about all the people who are part of it - the heartbroken, the inspirational, the dedicated, the supportive, alongside those who are no longer with us. And, of course, none of this was possible without my colleague, Julie Anne Bailie, and the road safety team at LyleBailie.

David Lyle, 11th June 2011.

* Oxford Economics, The Economic Payback of Road Safety Advertising in NI (April 2011), compared with previous trends.

** Oxford Economics, The Economic Payback of Road Safety Advertising in ROI (September 2010), compared with previous trends.

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