A Halifax couple who have displayed a Baby on Board sticker in their car for the past five years have been awarded a prestigious World Humanitarian Award for their ‘remarkable contribution to improving the circumstances of mankind’.
Pat and Roger Needham travelled to Buckingham Palace from their Yorkshire home to receive the award from the Queen in a ceremony that was simultaneously televised around the world to an estimated audience of over 300 million. The couple revealed to the Yorkshire Post that they had since purchased ‘Child on Board’ and ‘Grandmother on Board’ stickers.
‘Without the stickers we are sure that the whole family would have been creamed by now,’ said Pat Needham. ‘When we go to the shops, take the kids to school or drive nan to her day centre, it is amazing how much respect and understanding we get from other motorists. On a couple of occasions we even had a police escort to ensure we got to the end of the cul-de-sac in one piece.’
Pope Francis also sent the couple a special blessing from Rome. ‘Every year in this difficult world, there are those who make remarkable contributions to improving the circumstances of mankind, His Holiness said. ‘We are fortunate to have people like Pat and Roger who dedicate their time to fighting indifference, intolerance and injustice to make our world a safer place for our children.’ Vatican officials are now considering a special ‘Pope on Board’ sticker for all papal vehicles.
The World Humanitarian Award consists of a golden-halo car mobile and a book of two-for-one vouchers to the value of £25 which can be exchanged for goods at any supermarket, excluding petrol. Last year’s winner, Emilio Gonzalez, inventor of the Jumbo Pencil which has reputedly saved millions of children from terrible ear and eye injuries, also passed on his congratulations to the couple in an illegible letter.
But the Award has drawn criticism from other quarters. A spokesman from Road Safety GB said it was unsure that ‘Baby on Board’ stickers did anything to influence safer road-using behaviour with the road-using public. ‘They can actually increase road rage,’ he warned. For example, trials of ‘Princess on Board’ stickers in Parisian taxis did little to encourage road safety. It might be better to have ‘Twat at the Wheel’ stickers in Audis, BMWs and Mercedes.’