Letter: Langley, pay heed in parking lots

A local motorist said drivers and pedestrians need to pay more attention.

Dear Editor,

I may have just saved someone’s life in the parking lot at Costco.

As far as I know, the older gentleman involved is totally unaware of how close he came to spending Christmas in the hospital or worse…

I went shopping with my wife. She was driving.

After completing our chores at Costco, my wife started our car.

We were parked at the near end of a row, I noticed a man approaching from the front right corner of the car, I made sure my wife also saw him.

At the same time, the people who had parked in the spot  immediately to our left had returned to their vehicle, they quickly opened their doors and got in.

Meanwhile, my wife had shifted our car into reverse, our backup camera came on.

At the very bottom of the screen, I noticed the man we had seen earlier had squatted down very low, very close to the back of our car, as if to pick something up.

It was very fortunate that I spotted movement in the camera and immediately shouted ‘STOP!!’. There was no other indication that this person was behind our car.

Our engine was running, our backup and brake lights on.

I cannot imagine what would possess a person to squat down behind a car in such a manner when it was so obviously about to move.

It took a few minutes for the potential gravity of this situation to sink in and perhaps wouldn’t have been quite as poignant an experience had not another incident occurred in the Canadian Tire parking lot about 30 minutes later.

This time, my wife was already in the process of backing out (albeit very slowly, but our car had already moved at least two feet), when someone briskly walked within a foot behind our car.

While we realize that these are parking lots and pedestrians have the right of way, common sense dictates that ‘right’ of way does not include ‘harms way.’

Before all you trolls out there take a run at us about what terrible drivers we must be, please know the following: my wife has an impeccable 30-plus year driving record.

Out of an abundance of caution after encountering a couple of past ‘near misses,’ she insisted I install a backup camera on her car (it didn’t come equipped with one).

While she has a cellphone, it stays appropriately stowed while driving, she has a Bluetooth for phone calls, and doesn’t even do email or text messaging, period.

When I was young, my parents taught me correctly about being mindful of one’s actions as a pedestrian in the company of moving objects much larger than me.

What happened to so many of the rest of you?

We came so close to potentially a life of guilt after having run over someone’s (grand)father/brother… a few days before Christmas, no less.

It wouldn’t have been my wife’s fault, but would that have made any difference to anyone?

A. Charles, Langley

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