Richard Alcorn from Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, gives his time freely delivering road safety messages to young people.
He was just 19 when he was involved in a car crash near his home in 2006. He lost an arm, broke his neck, shattered his pelvis and broke both hips.
Richard has battled to overcome his horrific injuries and has taken on a new role, advocating for road safety.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross described Richard as “a true inspiration” at the 10th annual Leading Lights in Road Safety Awards in Dublin yesterday.
Mr Ross said Richard deserved the top award because of his bravery in not only dealing with the aftermath of such a life-changing incident but also using his experience to teach others.
Richard tells his harrowing story in the hope that it changes the behaviour of young drivers.
“When I see the speed of young drivers and the chances they take on the roads these days, it scares me to death because I know the damage it can cause and the lifelong changes and suffering it can bring,” he said.
“I’m not looking for them to feel sorry for me — I’m looking for them to think about themselves.”
RSA chairwoman Liz O’Donnell said they wanted to recognise and celebrate the great work by individuals and organisations to make communities safer.
RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said the high quality of the projects entered made it the toughest year yet to pick winners.
Students at Colaiste Mhuire, Thurles, Co Tipperary, won an education award for making the approach to the school safer. The school’s student council successfully lobbied Tipperary County Council to demolish a wall and widen a footpath.
RTÉ won the national media award for the documentary After the Crash that remembered every individual life lost on the roads in 2016.
Dublin Bus received the public sector award for making cyclist awareness an integral part of ongoing driver training.