An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO I had just pulled up to a red light at the intersection at the bottom of Summit Drive when my truck stalled and wouldn’t start again.
All I could do was flick on the flashers, call BCAA, tell them I was blocking traffic, and wait.
As I sat there, vehicles came speeding down the hill and swerved around me, some coming much closer than they needed to. By the middle finger they offered as they went by, they were clearly annoyed that someone would have the nerve to break down in front of them.
The same thing happened about two years earlier when my fuel pump decided to pack it in on Eighth Street and I managed to get only part way off the road.
It’s all too common, this pointless road rage and refusal to help out a fellow human being.
I came across a story yesterday about an elderly Kamloops woman whose vehicle broke down at an intersection, and not only did no one stop to offer help, but many made a point of swerving violently around her car and making disparaging gestures.
Some of them apparently came dangerously close to causing a collision.
A tow truck typically takes an hour to get there, sometimes longer depending on the weather, so the time spent waiting in your vehicle while other drivers act like idiots is stressful.
Whatever happened to the Good Samaritan? It can be dangerous to stop and offer assistance in heavy traffic, but instead of being mean about it, how about we simply pay attention to the flashing emergency lights of a disabled vehicle, slow down and politely move into the other lane?
How about we understand that the driver of that broken-down vehicle didn’t decide to stall out in the middle of busy traffic, that he or she is doing the best they can?
How about some patience and kindness?
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.