Anyone who travels via motorbike or drives a convertible car will tell you that there is nothing quite like the sense of adventure that comes from feeling the wind on your face as you hit the open road, and apparently, these feelings are not limited by age.
A driver by the name of Bruce Bromley found himself in a state of shock on Friday afternoon as he waited in line to merge onto Melbourne’s Monash Freeway and noticed a small and slow moving object cruise past his passenger side window that turned out to be an elderly gentleman on a mobility scooter.
Moving at a top speed of 16km per hour, the elderly gentleman who had earlier been reported missing, found himself in an extremely dangerous situation as he merged onto the freeway via the emergency lane and amongst the other motorists travelling at the 100km speed limit.
Thankfully, quick thinking motorist Bruce who had been forced to wait and watch the slow-moving scooter from the traffic lights at the freeway merger point; caught up with the elderly man and attempted to use his car to shield the man from traffic while simultaneously asking him to pull over.
Much to Bruce’s surprise, the gentleman on the scooter did not feel he was in need of any assistance or direction on what he should be doing, repeatedly responding to Bruce’s requests to pull over by telling him to “F*** Off.”
It was at this point that Bruce decided to call 000 and enlist the help of the police to deal with this situation, as he embarked upon a low-speed pursuit and relayed the whereabouts of the elderly gentleman’s freeway-scooter-riding antics to the authorities.
At one point the 000 emergency phone operator can be heard asking Bruce what colour the mobility scooter was, to which Bruce calmly replied, “Brown and black. There’s only one, they won’t miss him. I’ll wait for police, I don’t want him to get hit.”
Bruce continued to drive slowly behind the scooter with his hazard lights on, in an attempt to shield the man from the ongoing flow of traffic, and tensions ran high as the scooter veered in and out of the freeway emergency lane and narrowly avoided being clipped by a truck.
Despite the seemingly wreckless nature of this adventure, the elderly man occasionally stuck his arm out to indicate a change of directions like a well-mannered cyclist, and he also seemed quite content with his choice of transportation despite the concerns of Bruce and the emergency phone line operator.
Thankfully, the man and his scooter were eventually stopped by the police only 4 minutes after Bruce’s phone call, and the man was transported to Glen Waverley Police Station where he was reunited with his family.
The video of this incident was initially posted on the popular Facebook page “Dash Cam Owners Australia,” and it wasn’t too long before this low-speed chase caught the attention of the internet and began to viral.
While many in the comments sections drew their own conclusions as to what sparked the elderly man to hit the freeway on his scooter, many praised his driving skills and his sense of courtesy on the road.
“The old guy drives/rides better than most Canberra drivers. At least he stuck to the left lane.” said one Twitter user.
While it easy to laugh at the situation now, it should be noted that this situation had all the makings of a potential tragedy and it was the mindfulness and concern of complete stranger that ensured this situation had a happy ending.
Undoubtedly, Bruce Bromley would have had somewhere he was heading, and he probably could have mustered up any number of excuses to ignore the situation and make it someone else’s problem, but instead, he took it upon himself to ensure this mans safety.
There are elderly people all around the country who are dealing with the types of issues that can be resolved with a little bit of kindness and concern from people in their immediate area, and the responsibility is on us to remain vigilant and mindful when we see older people who are unassisted out in public.
Walking up to someone and saying ‘are you O.K?’ may be slightly embarrassing if the person is O.K, but saying nothing when someone isn’t O.K can have much larger consequences.
In short, … be like Bruce.