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GEM Road Safety Charity

Road Safety has been at the heart of everything that we do since our formation as the Company of Veteran Motorists way back in 1932.

GEM Road Safety Charity

Since then, times have changed, but as an organisation our values remain untouched. We still pride ourselves on going the extra mile to look after our members and keep them safe on the roads. Read more about The GEM Story and our 90th anniversary.

Over the years, we recognised the need to do more to promote our aim of reducing death and serious injury on the roads, not just among our members, but within the wider community and we therefore decided to establish our own registered Road Safety Charity in 1985. 

We established the GEM Road Safety Charity to enable us to continue to champion road safety, donating to worthwhile causes and initiatives to support projects across the UK that all have one thing in common – keeping people safe on the roads. We support national and local road safety campaigns.

Support the GEM Road Safety Charity

Becoming a GEM member goes beyond award-winning breakdown cover, expert motoring advice, personal service and great value membership benefits… GEM membership also contributes towards the cost to support great road safety causes, which means each member is really making a difference - just by joining us.

You can also donate to the GEM Road Safety Charity at and through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

How can we help you?

The GEM Road Safety Charity contributes to the safety of all road users throughout the country by making grants and providing financial assistance to support innovative projects that have regional or national significance. We welcome applications from registered charities, road safety organisations, universities and groups with a clearly defined and well planned project. 

Applications are assessed by the Board of Trustees following consultation with GEM’s Executive Council and all applications should contain a plan, timeline and proposed budget for the project. It is unlikely that the Trustees will consider applications that seek to extend core funding or those previously funded by a statutory agency but each application is taken on its own merit.

We have closed applications for funding in 2022. Please come back soon to see when the next funding round opens.

Guidance for applications can be read here.



  • Mrs L Ward (Chairman)
  • Mr M Cooke
  • Mrs Emma Tugwell-Smith
  • Miss M Emms
  • Mr B Johnson

The Charity's Recent Campaigns


Looking out for Laura

Funding from the GEM Road Safety Charity has recently helped the British Horse Society (BHS) to raise awareness of danger involving horses and riders in one of the UK’s highest-risk areas. New statistics reveal a worrying 134 per cent increase in road incidents with horses in the north-west of England. As part of its Look out for Laura campaign, the BHS has released two new videos to encourage drivers to pass horses safely on the road. The videos tell the story of two horse riders who rely on riding as a way to de-stress from their hectic, working lives. Both encourage drivers to think about how they look at, and empathise with, horse riders when they are out on the road. The Charity provided funding to assist with dissemination of findings across Lancashire, one of the country’s highest-risk counties.

GEM Road Safety Charity chair Laura Ward said: “As an enthusiastic horse rider myself, I was pleased that the Charity had the opportunity to be part of the ‘Look out for Laura’ initiative. Most of my riding on the road – over many years – has taken place without incident, but every now and then I have experienced what can arise when another road user fails to respect the time and space my horse and I need to stay safe.

Independent evaluation of Look out for Laura shows the resource has been well received – and further sharing of its messages will now take place. A change in attitude is more important than ever, with more than 500 horse fatalities reported on the roads since 2010. Alan Hiscox, BHS director of safety, said: “The number of incidents involving horses on Britain’s roads remains far too high. “It is vital that we continue to urge drivers to be more considerate when passing horses and aware of how to do this safely.”


The Honest Truth

Road traffic collisions are the number one cause of death among 17 – 24 year olds. The award winning The Honest Truth is a national charity that was founded following one such fatal collision in South Devon where three young people were sadly killed. Working with Approved Driving Instructors, road safety partnerships, Police, Fire and Rescue Services and the military they have been working tirelessly since 2009 to provide quality road safety education to prevent families and communities from ever having to experience the pain of losing a loved one through a collision. The GEM Charity were pleased to award The Honest Truth a grant towards the redevelopment of their unique resources, aimed at learner drivers and their parents. These resources are engaging and, making use of the latest behaviour change techniques, use positive messaging to challenge and change behaviour to ultimately reduce the risk to the young driver and others on the road.


Sussex Safer Roads Partnership – In Car VR Project 

The Charity were pleased to be able to make a grant to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership towards the cost of an innovative 360 degree video aimed at young drivers and their passengers. The video puts participants in the passenger seat of a car being driven by a young man the morning after a night out. A number of different things occur during that morning’s journey to college, and participants are encouraged to identify who presents the most risk: the driver, the passengers or both in each scenario. Using behavioural change techniques the film aims to highlight those risks and how they can be avoided to keep people safe on the roads. 


Project EDWARD (Every Day Without a Road Death) 

We have been proud supports of TISPOL’s annual Every Day Without a Road Death (Project EDWARD) since its inception in 2016 where we provided grant funding to the initiative. The Grant was used to fund the initial seminar together with a number of promotional social media videos/messages. Project EDWARD aims to bring the whole continent together to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, the number of people killed or injured on the roads across Europe. Project EDWARD received a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2018. 


Driving in Comfort

GEM Motoring Assist has published a video to help older drivers and their passengers enjoy a more comfortable experience on journeys. The free video, funded by the GEM Road Safety Charity, looks at how the process of ageing can affect our ability to get in and out of the car, or drive around safely and in comfort. Most of us suffer the occasional ache and pain as we get older, leading to stiffness and reduced visibility. This video offers a few ideas that should make car journeys a bit easier and more enjoyable again. Watch the GEM driving in comfort video below.


Game Zone for junior cyclists

A new Game Zone featuring a range of safer cycling puzzles, activities and competitions aimed at younger cyclists has been launched thanks to a grant from the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity. The new zone, which includes Spot the Difference, Dress the Cyclist and word search puzzles, was implemented on the Cycle-Smart Foundation’s website. Other puzzles for youngsters aged five to 11 include Match the Helmet, Memory Game and Road Signs. Once the youngsters have successfully completed all the activities, they can download a special certificate.  

The Cycle-Smart Foundation, a registered charity founded in 1998, is committed to reducing the number of children who are killed and seriously injured in cycling collisions in the UK every year by promoting the use of cycle helmets, bike lights, high visibility clothing, cycle training, the use of cycle lanes and basic bicycle maintenance. Every year the charity distributes around 6,000 cycle helmets to children across the country, targeting those living in the most deprived areas as they are most at risk from a fatal cycling collision.    


Still Safe to Drive

1 in 7 drivers in the UK are aged over 65 and by the year 2050 this figure will have risen significantly to 1 in 4.
Currently over 4 million drivers are aged over 70 and 1 million are aged over 80. Thus ‘older drivers’ are a significant and increasing proportion of road users.

Older age brings an increase in health and cognitive problems for such drivers. However, media calls for restrictions on older drivers are unhelpful and unrealistic.

GEM has always supported measures and initiatives that will help drivers to remain on the road longer, providing they are safe to do so. We therefore, sponsored the production of three short films and accompanying materials under the heading ‘Still Safe to Drive’.

Watch the GEM Still Safe to Drive videos.


Volunteer Drivers

There are many organisations within British society that rely on volunteer drivers to assist them in their worthwhile work. Very often such drivers receive no additional training or advice on their responsibilities behind the wheel beyond the normal training and testing that all drivers are required to undertake.

The GEM road safety charity has produced 3 short films aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of such drivers.

Watch the GEM Volunteer Driver videos.


Video regarding the use of mobile phones by drivers

The illegal use of mobile phones by drivers remains a high priority for road safety campaigns. The GEM Road safety Charity has funded a short video which is freely available online and which shows how distracting it can be to drive and use a phone at the same time. Under controlled conditions a group of drivers undertake a series of driving tests while using their phones and the results show how on the open road the consequences could be disastrous. Watch the GEM mobile phone and driving video below.


Getting young drivers back on the road in safety

The GEM Road Safety Charity was delighted to work closely with The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) by sponsoring a policy research paper on the significant problem of young driver accidents.

412 people were killed in accidents involving young car drivers (17-24 years) in 2011 accounting for 22% of all road deaths.  Nearly a fifth (1,552) of all car occupants killed or seriously injured were young car drivers.

The research paper makes a strong case to the Government to explore this problem thoroughly and rationally and take action that will reduce this costly and unnecessary waste of young life.

In particular the report asks for the introduction of a Graduated Licence scheme to be given serious consideration despite the fact that successive Governments have consigned it into the ‘too difficult’ pile.


Volunteer Rider Training for 'Life Savers'

Throughout the country there are groups of volunteer riders (and some drivers) who carry out a lifesaving role by ensuring that blood and other medical products are delivered to hospitals out of normal working hours. SERV – Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers offer their services free of charge and provide an emergency courier service for urgent medical items. The GEM Road Safety Charity has made an initial donation to SERV to provide funds to allow their volunteer riders to undergo advanced rider training.


Mobility Choices for Older Road Users

The GEM Charity has partly funded a major research study conducted by PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) which highlights a number of recommendations to ensure that the growing number of older road users remain mobile and safe on our roads.

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