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Being a good samaritan in Canberra?

Padoof 28 May 2011 34

My partner recently berated me for a good deed done, I thought I’d put it to fellow rioters to see what you think…

I was driving to Mitchell the other morning (8.30am) when I noticed the car ahead of me with a  deflated tyre, it was getting worse right before my eyes.  Whilst stopped at the lights on Gungahlin Drive (turning into Mitchell), I got out of my car and knocked on the fellow’s window – he just looked at me blankly.  Once I opened his door (yes indeedy I did!), and told him that his tyre was really bad, he did acknowledge that he had a slow leak.

What would other drivers have done?  My partner thinks that in this day and age you don’t know what type of person one could encounter, I lament that times are such that we don’t do good deeds.

My argument in support included consideration of the circumstances, obviously it’s not something I would have done on a deserted road at night time, I figured that in broad daylight with heavy traffic I would be fine.  I also didn’t fancy the idea of being stuck behind the idiot when his tyre went completely limp!

Over to you all, cheers!


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34 Responses to Being a good samaritan in Canberra?
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johnboy johnboy 9:59 am 28 May 11

Strikes me as a clear case for Kant’s categorical imperative or even the less subtle golden rule.

If I had a flat tyre I’d hope someone who noticed it would let me know.

Just because other people are being bastards is no reason to contribute to the general level of bastardry out there.

My 2c.

damien haas damien haas 10:04 am 28 May 11

Being berated for random acts of kindness ? I think you need to reevaluate your relationship. Are these the core values you wish to impart on any children ?

Watson Watson 10:31 am 28 May 11

Maybe you should tell your husband he’s being an overprotective cave man! (Always kinda sexy of course – but nevertheless a good opportunity for mockery)

Bit weird that the guy in the car didn’t even open his window. Maybe he was scared of you?!

I think it was the right thing to do and there should be more of it!

Innovation Innovation 10:46 am 28 May 11

Apparently there was a doco on TV recently which my partner watched where they did a psychological test in a pub when a male pretended to spike the female’s drink. Very few people paid attention and even fewer did anything about it. The female even pretended to show symptoms of having been drugged. They even set the experiment up so the male and female were alone at different times. Only one person (despite his wife’s protestations) actually got up and confronted both the offender and victim and called the bartender over. A few males even noticed and egged the offender on.

I’d like to think that I would do the right thing in that situation but I am puzzled why so few took action. Perhaps it’s a lesson for us all.

Innovation Innovation 10:48 am 28 May 11

Oh I forgot to mention that they did the experiment both when the female was dressed smartly and when she was dressed more provocatively. There was significantly less support for her when in more revealing clothes. Might be worth noting re the posts on the Slutwalk comes to Canberra thread.

Holierthanthou Holierthanthou 10:51 am 28 May 11

Your partner is wise. You could have been by a law-breaking lane splitting motorcyclist.

Watson Watson 11:30 am 28 May 11

Innovation said :

Oh I forgot to mention that they did the experiment both when the female was dressed smartly and when she was dressed more provocatively. There was significantly less support for her when in more revealing clothes. Might be worth noting re the posts on the Slutwalk comes to Canberra thread.

I’m sure it was interesting, but I fail to see what spiking drinks at a pub and a woman alerting a man about a problem with his car tyre on the road have in common? I mean, I can see some very vague connection there maybe, but it’s a pretty long jump.

rottweiler rottweiler 1:24 pm 28 May 11

Good on ya, I am always letting our diver know if I see something wrong with their car, just last week an older gentleman was driving a ute and trailer he had stuff tied down on both but a rope from the ute had come undone and was hanging down at his trailer wheel as it was a single lane I sat a fair way back and watched til he turned then followed as he pull up I let him know … response thanku that could have ended badly. Some people are happy to be informed and some are waist of space on our roads

Innovation Innovation 2:06 pm 28 May 11

Watson said :

Innovation said :

Oh I forgot to mention that they did the experiment both when the female was dressed smartly and when she was dressed more provocatively. There was significantly less support for her when in more revealing clothes. Might be worth noting re the posts on the Slutwalk comes to Canberra thread.

I’m sure it was interesting, but I fail to see what spiking drinks at a pub and a woman alerting a man about a problem with his car tyre on the road have in common? I mean, I can see some very vague connection there maybe, but it’s a pretty long jump.

Sorry if I didn’t draw a strong enough link for you. I thought the issue was about being a good samaritan on the road or anywhere else for that matter. The point was that, sadly, most people choose not to get involved for fear of repercussions. Also, I probably missed it, but I couldn’t tell whether Padoof was male or female – and would the advice people are giving be any different in either case?

Jethro Jethro 2:21 pm 28 May 11

Good deeds are good.

But I’m not sure about opening his door. It could have put you at risk. I know that if some random came up to my car and the door at a set of lights I would be thinking I was about to get car-jacked or something.

A more sensible option would have been to point to his tyre and mouth the word ‘flat’ instead of opening his car door.

Jethro Jethro 2:22 pm 28 May 11

Jethro said :

I know that if some random came up to my car and the door

That should have said ‘opened the door’

ScienceRules ScienceRules 4:38 pm 28 May 11

Kudos, Padoof! Wouldn’t it be great if this was just a “normal” thing, rather than such an unusual event that we’ve all got to chip in with our opinions?

cleo cleo 7:41 pm 28 May 11

Padoff
I just want to know what you did to him this person, and why wasn’t he changing his own tyre, obviously he didn’t have a spare.

cranky cranky 8:59 pm 28 May 11

Probably done the same thing about once a year for the past ten. Split equally between flat tyres and zero brake lights. Never had a problem.

I would appreciate someone telling me my vehicle had a similar problem.

Eppo Eppo 9:34 pm 28 May 11

Opening his door isn’t the best move. I would have automatically been defensive/aggressive if some strange bloke tried to open my door at a set of lights. You wouldn’t know what their intention was.

As for letting them know – thumbs up. I was riding next to a BMW over Commonwealth Ave bridge a couple of weeks ago and noticed he had a bit of a flat. Just beeped and pointed at the tyre. He nodded. Had obviously felt it!

blub blub 11:42 pm 28 May 11

Why didn’t you just wind down your passenger side window down, and try and get the driver’s attention? (Hoping they’d wind down their window and you could them talk to them) Isn’t that what most people would do?

If I stopped at traffic lights and the guy in the car next to me got out of his car and walked over – I’d make sure my doors were locked before he got to my car.
If he then tapped on my window, I’d probably look at him blankly too. Then I might slightly open my window to hear what he has to say.

If he attempted to open my door, I wouldn’t take to well to that at all.

Kudos for alerting the driver of the state of their tyre, but I would never approach it the way you did.

Do you also knock on strangers’ homes’ doors and then just open the door before they get a chance to answer the door?

Grrrr Grrrr 12:04 am 29 May 11

What’s with the media labelling everyone who helps someone a “Good Samaritan”? The term comes from a biblical parable of the same name: The reason for the word “good” before “samaritan” is that the Samaritans were enemies of the Jews, so the stopping to help was unexpected.

Hence, unless you stopped to help someone who is typically your enemy, you are not a Good Samaritan. You are simply a good citizen – a fellow motorist.

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 12:54 am 29 May 11

Innovation said :

The point was that, sadly, most people choose not to get involved for fear of repercussions.

I believe what you’re referring to is “the bystander effect”- people will assume someone else will deal with it, essentially.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

GYW GYW 1:52 am 29 May 11

I normally would have done the same, Padoof, apart from opening the door. I do stuff like that all the time, as people have done for me. One morning on the Monaro I had a flat I was totally oblivious to. A good samaritan went to great pains to point it out to me using hand gestures. I was tired and cranky and assumed he was one of the many morons one unfortunately encounters on our roads. I’m ashamed to say I responded with a gesture of my own which was most unladylike and he gave up. Of course, as soon as he drove off I realised what he’d been on about and I feel ashamed to this day. If you are that good samaritan, please accept my sincere apologies and don’t stop being a nice guy.

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 8:43 am 29 May 11

Grrrr said :

Hence, unless you stopped to help someone who is typically your enemy, you are not a Good Samaritan. You are simply a good citizen – a fellow motorist.

The term is in the common vernacular for a volunteer that helps someone out unexpectedly… deal with it; sometimes terms take on a new meaning over, say, you know, 2000+ years or so… There are even laws around the world named after the parable – good Samaritan laws to protect volunteers (first aiders, WSRs etc) from prosecution from actions undertaken “in good faith” and without negligence.

Besides, being a bystander, and ignoring the hazards to others is akin to being an “enemy” to them anyhow…

Padoof – continue on in your ways – you have the blessing of almost every contributor above so far… Although, I personally use hand gesticulations (point to relevant tyre, then two flat palms coming together), or if proximity allows, simply wind windows down and call out. You probably scared the shit out of the oblivious driver by opening their door; that’s pretty much an invasion of one’s personal space; you “broke the seal, man…”

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