This is a short story about things that go bump in the parking lot. The outcome could have been a lot simpler with a bit of courtesy and the sharing of required information but it didn’t happen that way. I wonder what the ultimate cost will be when all is said and done.
I was waiting to turn left from the main access into a parking aisle at the mall along with a car opposing me and traffic behind me. There was a vehicle further along the aisle backing out, so we all waited.
When the vehicle had backed out, we all began to enter the aisle in turn until the car in front of me stopped.
The driver began to back up and when it was clear that a collision with me was imminent I sounded my vehicle’s horn. The car stopped, pulled ahead and began to back up again. This time sounding the horn did not help and a small collision occurred.
We moved out of the way and I got out and approached the other driver, a woman that I estimate was in her early 80’s. Her first words to me were “Why didn’t you get out of my way?”
If the other traffic had not been stopped behind me, I certainly would have tried to.
Her next piece of advice was that “Trucks should not be in this parking lot anyway, they belong out there in the back 40” and gestured to the far edge of the lot.
I asked her to exchange information with me and she refused. She refused again after I tried to explain that we were required to do this.
I was beginning to become concerned about this reluctance and while I considered what to do next three people approached me to state that they had watched the incident occur and offered to provide their contact information. This was a very personal reminder that people willing to help are all around us. Thank you very much!
At this point the woman decided that she should examine my truck for damage. As we walked to it, she remarked that I looked like a cop. I told her that I used to be one and was surprised when she responded with “It figures. You’ve got nothing better to do than cause trouble for others.”
I took my cell phone out and photographed her, then went back to her car and photographed it.
She came back, got into her car and departed.
Now what to do? The damage to my truck amounted to a scuff on the bumper and I would have been prepared to shrug it off had she identified herself and appeared apologetic.
Maybe she was embarrassed, just a miserable person or wanted to avoid losing a safe driving discount. Worse still, maybe she didn’t have a driver’s licence or had reached the end of her ability to drive safely. The decision about whether to do anything was left up to me, along with the worry that she might try to report this as my fault.
What would you do in this situation? Send me your thoughts and I’ll finish this tale in next week’s article.
Constable Tim Schewe (Retired)
DriveSmartBC: Where better than average drivers satisfy their curiosity.