Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good deed of the day; helping out the Keystone Kops

The other night on my way home, I was driving on a major road in Israel...highway 443. I had already passed Modi'in and the Shilat junction, and was driving around 80 km/h (about 55 mph) in the right-hand lane when I noticed that at the (green lighted) intersection ahead, there seemed to be a car going slower than it should have.

I slowed down, and noticed it's lights were off. Getting closer, I veered out of the way, realizing it was so slow moving, that it was being pushed by 2 people.

Only when I passed the car did I realize it was a police car being pushed by 2 policemen.

I quickly pulled over to the side of the road at the bus stop past the intersection, put on my red Magen David Adom strobe light, put on my 4-way flashers, grabbed my MDA/United Hatzala reflective vest and ran out to help them.

"You guys are going to get yourselves killed," I yelled at them. "Its dark out, you're pushing a car with no lights on, and neither of you are wearing reflective vests. They aren't just a good idea, it's the law!" I admonished them.

Another car honked and veered around as he narrowly missed hitting them as well.

Helping them push their car to the side of the road, they sheepishly said their police car had died while driving, and since they were in a rush to get it out of the way they forgot to put on reflective vests.

"Er, do you happen to have any booster cables?" They asked...

I replied, "sure I do, but can you please put on reflective vests and a red warning triangle behind your car?"

Again, their answer blew me away, "Sorry, we don't have a red reflective warning triangle...and looking here in the trunk, we only have 1 reflective vest."

No vest in a police car?

Now that they realized I was serious about road safety, they asked; "How are you going to turn your car around, so you can give us a boost/charge? Maybe we should put flares on the road?"

"Actually, you guys are policemen. Put on a reflective vest, and use your flashlight to slow down traffic."

Deciding not to put my faith in their safety abilities, I backup up in reverse onto the sidewalk, so that I could turn around without needing to rely on the police effectively stopping traffic.

Meanwhile, the police woman behind the wheel of the squad car kept turning the starter. "Halo!" I yelled. "Wait till I connect the cables -- you're going to flood our engine AND ruin your car's starter!"

I connected the car batteries together, and then she again started pushing the starter as hard as she could. "WAIT, WAIT! I need to start my car's engine first..."

After starting my engine, the police car's engine roared to life.

I then needed to turn my car around to continue on my way home. "

Listen, what you need to do is turn on your blue flashers, and stop traffic so I can turn around again. Let's wait till the traffic light is red, to minimize the traffic..."

"Great idea!" They replied...and they couldn't stop thanking me for bailing them out.

I only wish there was some way to have gotten a "Get out of jail free" proteczia card from them...or that they remember this incident and go easier on civilians who may need a break.

Going to Israel?
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Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Unknown said...

A real world example of the incompetence and corruption of Israel's grand police force. They're above the law. If they had stopped you, I guarantee you that they would have given you a ticket if you didn't have the legally mandated safety equipment.

Lakewood Falling Down said...

Not fair to keep me from breathing... I was laughing so hard! BTW, perfect picture choice.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

LFD: My pleasure :-) The idea for the comic came from Lurker!

Aliza: It was so sad that I had more equipment then they did!

I had extra vests, high power flashlights, 2 emergency strobe lights, jumper cables...not including all my EMT gear.

It was really a boosha.

The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

Your point about them hopefully having a little rachamanes on people with equipment failures in the future is well taken; even in the states.

I once was driving a car whose Alternator had failed. It was in the middle of the night, and I had no lights, and was trying to get off the highway and into town when a cruiser pulled me over. While he was happy to write me a ticket, he was likewise content to abandon me to find may way off the highway in the dark, rather than escort me off. I guess the town of Liberty, NY could not spare him from his revenue generating functions for long enough to attend to a matter of public safety.

jameel said...

Reform Baal Teshuva: I wish they would have a bit more rachmanut...but I dont have high hopes for them.

Alissa said...

Go Jameel! Back in North America, my car was well-stocked with flares, triangles, cables, etc. Anything a broken-down car could need for safety (except the vests).

I'm working on re-stocking our "new" ('97 - it's new to us) car here. You just gave me that much more incentive.

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