Areas of responsibility are important

I’m driving home. It’s Friday afternoon and there’s a lot of traffic on the streets. The time of Corona where the streets were completely empty are finally a thing of the past. That’s a good thing. I feel like now more people moved from using public transport to driving their own cars. I’m one of them.

I have a GA (an annual travel pass for Switzerland) and it simply doesn’t make any sense to travel around by car. Apart from of course when the trains are full and the virus still causes a risk. But that’s a different story.

I drive through the Uetlibertunnel, am excited to get home, to see the lake Zug and to go swimming in the evening. Summer is wonderful, isn’t it. There are three markings on the tunnel ground and I am in the lane furthest to the left, with a speed of nearly 100 KM per hour. And suddenly, in the fraction of a second, I notice in the lane furthest to the right, which is actually separated by a full line and is only meant as a service lane, a stationary vehicle. As if that weren’t dangerous enough, no, even worse, there is a person (probably a woman but I am not quite sure due to the speed) who is standing in a signalling vest, next!! To the stationary vehicle, nearly outside the marked service lane, waving at them as if she were trying to get the cars to stop. If I have seen this properly in the speed, the situation for the lady and other potential participants could get very dangerous.

‘‘why doesn’t she just walk over to the emergency telephone, which is only a couple meters away from her stationary car and call the police?’’ I pondered. Does she really think that one of the passing drivers would want to and can stop in the tunnel? That could end deadly.

I’m not sure how to act but think that it would probably be best to alert the police. But unfortunately, I hadn’t saved the emergency number in my car. The only saved number that I could call without breaking traffic rules (quasi operated by voice commands on my part) is the one of the local police station in the city of Zurich. I contact them and after a few ringing tones a male voice answers. I inform them of the situation and receive a lecture in return. I am told that the responsibility for the motorway is with the Kanton police and that they have nothing to do with this. Therefore, I am wrong, he cannot help me and that I should please dial the correct number. I take a moment to think. Slowly I am out of the tunnel and I will be able to stop in a few minutes. The man on the call doesn’t really give the impression that he is particularly bothered to help me and who knows, maybe I didn’t see all the details.

So, I stop after a few minutes and call the emergency number 117. I learn that the incident has already been registered and that help is on their way. Finally, the emergency number is saved in my phone and hopefully it will all go well. It was an interesting experience, after all, areas of responsibility are important!!

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