I watched a commercial truck begin to leave the brake check as I approached the summit of Highway 4 outside of Port Alberni today.
I knew that if the driver accelerated as he was entitled to I would have to follow him for a few kilometers of downhill grade at speeds significantly lower than the 80 km/h speed limit. I wasn’t in a hurry, but I wasn’t looking forward to this either.
This driver was watching his mirrors and saw me approach. Instead of continuing to accelerate he maintained his speed instead and let me by before pulling into the through lane.
I waved my thanks as I got close to the cab and received a wave in return. This driver was a true gentleman and put my convenience ahead of his right of way.
The incident was a small one in the great scheme of things, but I appreciated the gesture and felt good that this driver would care enough to do something nice for a stranger. It is definitely a stark contrast to the usual selfish driving behaviours that I see going on around me every day as I drive.
Why can’t we all be like this man?
Driver psychology is very difficult to influence.
Traffic tickets, advertising campaigns and learning from the experience of others may not have a strong effect as we are all better than average drivers and can easily blame others as the source of the problem.
However, if we could all try to follow this fellow’s example our highways could be a better and safer place to be.
For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.