Mike and Diana Winnett
I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and an independent Road Safety Consultant, with a professional career spanning over 40 years working both in the UK and overseas. This has resulted in the opportunity to develop a wide range of specialism and expertise focusing on transport and road safety issues.
Initially I worked for the Ministry of Defence (Navy) and after, for a large part of this career, I worked as a Research Consultant at the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory before undertaking consultancy for the European Union, the Global Road safety Partnership and other European Engineering consultancies.
I have received both Civil Engineering and Road Safety awards (British Technology Group and Prince Michael Award) but what has been the greatest reward has been to contribute to the science of Road Safety across the range of road users from child pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers. For a brief period I also worked on Infrastructure (highway design and maintenance and bridge structural corrosion).
I have spent a lot of time in Africa over the past 13 years and have found this the most interesting and challenging part of my career. The pace of development, increased motorisation, urban poverty and lack of funding are a toxic mixture that exacerbates the problems of road safety. One great advantage that Africa has is Christianity is thriving. If the churches come together they are a huge force to drive change and improvements. This set of notes is a contribution to that drive.
Religion: I do not like to be put in a denominational box and I think that these descriptors do more harm than good and serve to fragment and divide churches. I am an orthodox Bible believing Christian. I am a work in progress.
Motive: I once asked an African sociologist professor, when she thought that third world countries would become first world countries. “Never” was her reply. “Why?” I asked. She believed that, “It is not in their interest”. By “their interest” she meant, the interests of the developed world.
I have seen that well meaning organisations often add to the burdens of Africa. Instead of freeing up markets with a level playing field, they continue to feed the cycle of poverty with loans that will fall due to the children.
I see health as one of the greatest gifts to a nation. If a person is healthy, they have the possibility of earning a living. Road Safety is such a health issue, easily within reach of people and especially Africans (see below) who suffer more than the rest of the world.
The fatality rates are on the increase, which is a testimony of the failure of national road safety organisations. People will need to help themselves but because the Churches are such a powerful influence for change, this is possible. This is my contribution to that work.
Having recently “retired” from a major international computer company as a Personal Assistant I am now able to devote my time to more pressing matters with Mike and we can now focus on road safety issues as a team.
I have accompanied Mike on several trips to Africa and concur with his statement that “One great advantage that Africa has is that Christianity is thriving. If the churches come together they are a huge force to drive change and road safety improvements”.
I hope you enjoy reading the ministries that he has put together.