Friday, 24 May 2024 - 3:38pm

I'm just Ken, a Road Safety Hero!

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Senior Constable Ken Terry, this year's recipient of the Road Safety Hero award.

A new national Road Safety Hero has been crowned – and it’s North Canterbury’s Senior Constable Ken Terry.

Ken was awarded the prestigious Annual Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Hero Award at the Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Alliance Hui in Auckland last night (23 May).

The award recognises individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to promoting road safety within their communities.

The honour came as a complete surprise to Ken, who didn’t even know he had been nominated.

“It is an absolute thrill to be acknowledged at a national level,” says Ken. “Spreading the message about road safety is so important – too many lives are lost on our roads.”

Ken has been a country cop for most of his 38 years in Police and is now a School Community Officer in North Canterbury.

He says road safety plays a big part in his role as a School Community Officer, but it’s not road safety that he’s most passionate about, it’s people.

“Like most cops, I remember every fatal crash I’ve attended vividly, and there have been a lot, too many to count.

“The impact on families and communities is devastating.”

As a School Community Officer, Ken trains and mentors school patrols, kea crossings and traffic wardens in North Canterbury. He also teaches bus safety, bike safety, safe walking and other road safety programmes to primary schools.

In his spare time, he is a mentor for the Community Driver Mentor Programme, supporting learner and restricted drivers to become competent, confident and safe drivers and pass their next driving test.

“We need to start with the kids,” says Ken. “Education on simple principles with simple messages is the way to teach road safety to children and young people.

“It sets them up to be safe road users when they are learner drivers and as adult users of roads in our community.”

Ken was nominated for the award by Mark White, AA Canterbury/West Coast Councillor, who says, “New Zealand Police are very fortunate – as are we as parents and grandparents – to have an individual like Ken who lives and breathes children's safety.

“Ken's passion for road safety and his genuine concern for the well-being of our children have made him an invaluable asset to our community. This award is a small but fitting recognition of his tremendous contributions.”

Ken works with the AA Canterbury/West Coast Council on their ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ initiative, which involves distributing cycle lights to school children. (You can watch a video about the initiative, below)

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to collaborate on this project. We love seeing kids biking and riding to school – it helps build confidence and it’s great for health and well-being too. But more than anything we want them to be safe.”

This week is Road Safety Week. Thank you to all our Road Safety Heroes!