RAF Coningsby annually enters the Defence Road Safety competition, known as the Rose Bowl, which promotes safe driving standards and rewards effective road safety initiatives.

This year Coningsby managed to beat off stiff competition from over 100 tri-service units to be awarded first place for their outstanding investment in road safety campaigns. The stn was commended for focusing not only on it’s service personnel but looking more broadly across the wider local community by innovatively forming both local community road safety committees and inter-station meetings covering the multitude of RAF stations in Lincolnshire.  The Trophy was presented to the RAF Coningsby MT Flight in the Wratten Suite at the end of May by COS Spt’s XO, AVM Bishop.

The judges looked at road safety initiatives that the unit had undertaken with specific praise going to the large variety of road safety presentations throughout the year, each of which was widely promulgated to ensure maximum attendance.  The judges liked the creative method employed to reinforce training when personnel were found to have breached road safety. The MTO dealt with such offenders by tasking them to create and deliver a presentation on how they had breached road safety and the consequences this could have had on others. This presentation was given to personnel on station in the presence of the MTO.  After the event he was careful to find out how they found having to create the presentation, what they had learned, whether it was more effective than disciplinary action.  All personnel polled found it a better way of dealing with the situation. One Line Manager reported that by his personnel being dealt with in this way, 120 people had benefitted from the lesson rather than just  2.

In conjunction with Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership a series of drink driving presentations were given across the Station.  They imparted how alcohol affects the body differently depending on build, height, gender and medical condition of individuals.  All these factors contribute to the effect alcohol has on a person.  The most powerful message was a video clip showing not only what can happen if someone is caught drink driving but also contains a message from a victim stating how being hit had changed her life.

Coningsby was commended for promoting the ‘Pass Plus’ and other advanced driving schemes. Sgt Potts, a Bike Safe instructor, had seen the advantages this course delivers to riders so in conjunction with the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership he organised a course for members of the RAF Coningsby Motor Bike Club. He even managed to get the fee subsidised. The course starts in the classroom where personnel spend about 1 ½ hours discussing recent trends in bike crashes, some tasters of advanced riding techniques and some hints and tips on cornering and overtaking. This is an informal discussion and all personnel are encouraged to participate. The next part of the course is the observed ride, which is tailored to the riders needs and done on a one to one basis with either a Police, I.A.M or RoSPA observer, all of whom are highly qualified and selected for their attributes and abilities. Generally the ride lasts for 2 hours. Riders are encouraged to ride as they would normally with no pressure to do anything fancy.  Afterwards the riders are given a de-brief on their ride and any areas which may need polishing is highlighted. All participants are issued with a certificate and reminded to inform their insurance companies when it is due for renewal because attending this course should bring premiums down. Statistics have proven that anyone who has undertaken any form of advanced training is less likely to become a statistic of the wrong sort.

PHOTOGRAPH: l-r Cpl Jason Thompson, Sgt Si Ayre, AVM Bishop, Gp Capt Stringer, Sgt Caroline Taylor, FS Trev Shippey, Mr McKenna.