A collaborative road safety survivor mission: the sacred work of sorrow
Keywords: Road Authority, Activism, Grief, Survivor Mission, Road Safety, Advocacy
Submission Date: February 8, 2018 Journal
Suggested Citation: Sarkissian, W. (2018). A collaborative road safety survivor mission: the sacred work of sorrow. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 29(1), 42-48.
Mooren (2017) undertook a systemic analysis of the road safety factors that she believed contributed to the 2016 death of her friend, Karl Langheinrich. In this article, Karl’s wife, Dr Wendy Sarkissian, a prominent community planner, explains how collaborative road safety activism (her “survivor mission”) helped to heal her grief following Karl’s death. I propose that survivors consider making a “Victim Impact Statement” to the responsible road authority to help their staff put a human face to statistics. This article also challenges road safety and traffic specialists (especially those in local councils) to attend to their own literacy about grief and healing and to pay greater attention to the emotional consequences of road crashes and fatalities. New policies and approaches are necessary to encourage better education of road safety staff and management (about emotional intelligence, emotional literacy, mindfulness, and compassion) in road authorities, such as local councils in Australia.