This week 17th – 23rd September is Driver Appreciation Week. It’s a good reminder to say ‘cheers’ to the unsung heroes in our community whose hard work keeps cogs turning across New Zealand.
Road transport is vital to New Zealand’s regions and the export industries driving these local economies. Trucks carry:
- 95% of export fruit
- 86% of export wool
- 85% of export dairy products
- 65% of export logs
- 35% of export meat
*Data from the Road Transport Forum
Drivers deserve to be appreciated, as vehicle tracking providers we know what a difference good drivers can make. So we’ve found stories of everyday Good Samaritan drivers not just in New Zealand, but around the globe.
Where in the world are these driving heroes?
Wellington, New Zealand: Dennis Roderick was driving down State Highway One, when he spotted a 16-month-old boy waddling across four lanes. Dennis heroically manoeuvred his 20-metre-long truck and trailer to wrap around the boy to protect him from oncoming traffic. When talking to RNZ , Dennis said that the little boy looked up at him as if he was trying to communicate “oh, don’t run me over”. He scooped up the child and bought him over the footpath, returning the toddler to his shocked grandmother. Ka pai Dennis.
Michigan, United States: Canada’s southern neighbour also has a group of drivers with hearts of gold. A convoy of truck drivers lined up under a motorway bridge in Detroit as police were negotiating with a man contemplating suicide. State police said that this is a common tactic used, however the number of trucks, 13, was uncommon. The man safely walked off the bridge three hours later and all the officers thanked every driver for their service. According to Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw, drivers are always willing to help in these types of situations, and the department has been calling on truck drivers since 1995.
Durban, South Africa: CCTV footage captured a bus driver pull over and help an elderly passenger disembark the bus and then proceed to help them cross the road. A bakery owner saw this random act of kindness in action and posted the heart-warming footage onto her Facebook page. The video then went viral, the driver was identified as Albert Phenyani by many internet commenters who proudly claim that Albert always goes above and beyond for his passengers and colleagues.
Nova Scotia, Canada: A mother was taking her visually impaired daughter to a hair appointment, when she got boxed in on a narrow street by a delivery van, tall snowbanks and heavy traffic. A passing truck driver pulled over to see if the ladies needed help. When the driver realised that the daughter was visually impaired, he carefully guided her to the safety of a nearby footpath. Two snow storms had hit Atlantic Canada in the previous week and so the road was extremely dangerous. The woman was thankful to the driver telling the Canadian Broadcasting Company “He didn't grab my arm and try to tug me like Theodore Tugboat or anything. He offered me his arm and didn't move so slowly that he made me feel like an invalid but didn't try to rush me through the snow.”
British Columbia, Canada: Canadian truckers clearly live up to the stereotype of Canadians being lovely and helpful people. When a truck driver went to inspect what he thought was debris on the Trans-Canada Highway, he saw a hand and a woman’s face. The trucker quickly approached the unconscious woman and flagged down oncoming traffic. A group of truck drivers blocked the highway traffic, wrapped her in blankets and called an ambulance. The woman had suffered an unknown medical event, but the drivers had saved her life. The last memory she had was leaving her house two kilometres away to find her cat. You can watch the video of her meeting her guardian angel driver here .
A big thank you to all the drivers out there on the road each day – good on ya.
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