Gold medal for absence of road rage

During the Olympics, I’ve made the observation that while several thousand drivers chose to leave their cars at home and use transit to travel into Vancouver’s downtown core, there were an equal number of drivers who decided to remain behind the wheel.

The patience of those drivers was tested on a regular basis with blocked roads and stopped traffic.

A reserved parking spot was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for a select few, but for others, many of whom asked me where the closest public parking lot was, the journey ended in frustration and a trip back out of town in search of a parking spot.

What impressed me the most were the lack of road-rage confrontations.

Pedestrians wove their way through stopped traffic with the ebb and flow of water seeking an easy route.

When lights turned green, pedestrians respected (for the most part) vehicle right-of-ways and allowed cars to clear intersections. Even though buses often got high-centred with the tail end hovering over a cross walk, people waiting to cross were most patient and on their best behaviour. Drivers were like-minded souls, stopping for pedestrians and waving other cars through. Everyone realized traffic was horrible and no amount of honking was going to improve it.

That said, there were a few incidents.

To the driver whom I issued a ticket to for travelling the wrong way down a one-way street so he could reach his destination a total of two minutes earlier than had he taken the proper way around, I have no sympathy. You should have known better.

To the cyclist who had his rear tire turned into a boomerang when a driver not checking his mirror during a lane change knocked him off his bike, I’m glad you were wearing a helmet and that you were not injured. The same can’t be said about your bike, but it can be replaced.

To the young lady who started across the crosswalk against the light, I’m not sorry I yelled at you to step back. You were within a hair’s breadth of getting squished by a truck, the fact of which was clear on your face when the wind of the truck’s passage blew your hair up into the air. Yes, it was a close one.

And to the group of patriotic revellers who danced their way through the intersection of Burrard and Robson with Canadian flags draped over their shoulders and red/white toques adorning their heads, yes, you had every right to be celebrating. It was an awesome evening and I would have loved to have taken part. Instead, I was watching the VPD Traffic Authority hold a few cars back from the intersection so your group in its entirety could make it safely across the road. They were your Guardian Angels that night.

Vancouver police constable Sandra Glendinning blogs at

Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, PNG file