When there’s a road safety issue, just make the call
Like many people, I try to do the right thing. Also like many people, that right thing gets passed over because we’re in a hurry or because we think someone else will do it. It’s unfortunate when we have thoughts like that because in many cases, doing the right thing has to be done immediately. Waiting for someone else to do it may not happen soon enough. I had such an instance recently and I was happy I didn’t “pass the buck” and wait for someone else.
I was heading home from work on the expressway when I noticed a pedestrian sitting on the left shoulder with his back against the concrete barrier. There was no vehicle stopped with him and I was surprised to see this. I asked myself “What was he doing just sitting there?” when I realized he may have been distraught. I knew this was not one of those times to ignore it and shake my head. I called 911.
Luckily I have a vehicle that allows me to call 911 without touching my phone. When I got through to the dispatcher, they had said a couple of callers explained they were sitting on the northbound side, but they must have jumped the median as they were now on the southbound side. The pedestrian would be hidden by the concrete barrier for any officer to look for them on the northbound side. I was glad I called.
I could only imagine what could have happened if they were sitting there for too long. The vacuum that a transport truck creates could force the pedestrian to lose their balance and fall into the path of another vehicle. I certainly hoped they were picked up without incident. I was glued to social media of the police over the next couple of days as having a pedestrian struck while on the expressway would certainly make the news. It didn’t. I was relieved. I took this opportunity to talk to my kids when I got home.
When I was 18 years old, I hit black ice while driving along a winding road and lost control of my vehicle. It spun 180 degrees around and bounced across a few trees before coming to a rest with the driver’s door against one more tree. (I went back later and saw blue paint across 6 trees). I was trapped in the vehicle, but 2 people came by and pulled me out. I never saw those 2 people again, but I’m grateful for their assistance.
As a driving community we need to take an active role in helping others. Calling the authorities can help those in need, reduce possible injuries – or even death. If we spot a road raging incident, make the call. If there’s a vehicle broken down on the side of the road, make the call. If you spot an impaired driver, make the call. If you witness a collision, make the call. If we make the call sooner rather than later – if at all – then we’re doing our part to help our community.