AA chief Edmund King appointed OBE in New Year’s Honours List: St Albans

PUBLISHED: 12:07 31 December 2015

St Albans resident Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, has been appointed an OBE in the New Year's Honours List 2016. Photo courtesy Jonathan Cole Photography Ltd

St Albans resident Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, has been appointed an OBE in the New Year's Honours List 2016. Photo courtesy Jonathan Cole Photography Ltd

Jonathan Cole Photography Ltd

Improving road safety across the country – and internationally – has helped AA president Edmund King gain an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Edmund, who lives in St Albans, said today (Thursday) that he was “really surprised and absolutely thrilled” at being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to road safety.

Although he is a well known spokesman for the Automobile Association – he has held the post of president since 2008 – Edmund has been involved with promoting road safety via various roles, for charities, think tanks and of course breakdown organisations, during the past 25 years.

He has also highlighted problems on local roads. Edmund featured in the Herts Advertiser back in 2013, when this paper broke the news of this county’s infamous pothole-riddled roads being responsible for breaking the suspension of his vehicle.

Edmund considered himself ‘lucky’ at the time that he discovered the ruined suspension while his vehicle was stationary at a local petrol forecourt, and not while on a motorway.

This county’s pocked roads are still a concern for Edmund, who has urged Herts county council, and indeed highway authorities throughout the UK, to fix potholes and ensure roads are “up to scratch” for motorists.

Edmund also supported a campaign launched in the Herts Advertiser two years ago to remind motorists and cyclists to share Redbourn Road safely and responsibly, following the tragic death of a 57-year-old cyclist.

The busy AA president has been involved in many campaigns throughout the UK, including child-seat safety, young driver safety, nervous and older driver training, and cycle and motorcycle safety (#thinkbikes).

The latter has resulted in the free distribution of more than six million stickers and the eye-catching “Now you see me” video, featuring a naked cyclist, which has been viewed over 287,000 times. The AA’s successful “Think Bikes” campaign is being rolled out across 24 other countries from Iceland to Iran.

Edmund is not resting on his laurels yet, however, as other campaigns are in the pipeline including one to minimise driver distraction, which aims to stop people using mobile phones while behind the wheel.

He has praised others for their work to improve road safety, describing his OBE as a “clear reflection of the efforts of my present and past colleagues and road safety partners and organisations I have worked with over the years.

“In the UK we have made great advances in road safety over the last 20 years, but there is still much more to do when five people are killed on the roads every day.”

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