Last Friday saw the retirement of Dr Steve Lawson, one of iRAP’s longest serving and best-loved employees and a forefather of the RAP methodology. He saw the charity grow from 0 to 100 countries; from personally shaping the first concept of a methodology measuring road risk, to penning a future vision for the integration of autonomous vehicles on roads that cars can read. Following 20 years of RAP service, Steve enjoyed his last day connecting virtually with colleagues around the world.
Steve was iRAP Regional Director – Europe, Middle East and Africa (3+ years) and Partnerships and Research Director (9 years), following early work as the original project manager and technical director of EuroRAP. He was part of the team that initiated the Road Assessment Programme in 1999 and has carried out a number of technical, development and partnership-building roles during his time with EuroRAP, iRAP and the Road Safety Foundation.
His interest in reducing road traffic crashes and injuries began during a one-year research training period on the Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injuries Unit in 1976. Before the Road Assessment Programme, he contributed to research in universities, road authorities and the UK’s Automobile Association. Following his attainment of a PhD in Highway Engineering (Infrastructure Safety), Masters of Psychology and Bachelor of Science degree in Ergonomics, Steve’s career was full. His passion for road assessment, crash protection and injury reduction through infrastructure investment plans took him to around 50 countries of the world helping them to eliminate high-risk roads and save lives and serious injuries.
Steve’s current work will continue to be supported by the existing teams globally, with:
- EuroRAP (Secretary General Lina Konstantinopoulou) and the Brussels-based team leading European activity (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Racheal Nganwa, based in Kampala, taking on programme and advocacy work in Africa (email email@example.com)
- Rob McInerney as a contact point for the Middle East (email firstname.lastname@example.org); and
- iRAP Strategic Projects team (Greg Smith and Luke Rogers – email email@example.com;
- Road Safety Foundation (Dr Suzy Charman – email firstname.lastname@example.org); and
- EIRA (Olivera Rozi – email email@example.com) as contact points for any other matters.
Steve’s depth of skills, breadth of experience, gentle mentorship and sense of fun will be sorely missed. His legacy will continue in iRAP’s daily work and we wish him the best in his retirement chapter … in his words as a “part-time road safety specialist”.