Story by Karen James

I took the title of this piece from a song from the Little River Band, from the 1970s: “Hang on, help is on its way I will be there as fast as I can”. I thought it reflected my situation at the time. So, here’s what happened.

A few months ago I was driving on Springvale Road on my way to Dance & Roll, a para dance group. I could hear a noise coming from my car. I thought it might have been from the window being left open. I was in my car earlier in the day with my partner, and I thought I heard something then too.

When I got on the freeway the noise was getting louder. I pulled into the emergency lane to see if my other window was open, but It was closed. I started driving again, with the noise only getting louder. I was getting worried.

I pulled over to the emergency lane again and called the RACV for assistance. 

The  RACV staff member was very helpful. I mentioned to her that I use a wheelchair, and she advised me to stay in my car as it would not be safe for me to get out in the emergency lane. After a few conversations  she decided to organise Vicroads to come out and make the area safe for me in the emergency lane. The staff member was very thorough and was asking me questions along the way. She said that she made me a priority.

After speaking to RACV I called my partner to explain the situation, as I was a bit stressed and vulnerable with all these cars driving past on the freeway. My partner advised me to relax and just breathe.

I then texted the coordinator of Dance & Roll to let her know what was going on, and that I wouldn’t make dancing that night. Another friend passed me on the freeway on her way to Dance & Roll, and she sent me a message later asking if I was okay. I then had another message from another friend from Dance & Roll checking on me. So people were connecting with me through this situation, and making sure that I was okay.

The Vicroads staff member didn’t take too long to arrive, and identified the problem very quickly! It was a flat tyre, and he was able to fix it straight away, so I didn’t need a maxi taxi or tow truck. Thank goodness I had a spare tyre. I was also very happy with the support that I received from RACV, which I passed on.

I did think that I am so glad for mobile phones. What did we do without them? I then called my partner again to say everything was fine. It was so important having that phone contact and not getting out of the car. I was on my own but I felt connected with people, and I was confident with the RACV and Vicroads support. Well done to them!

I hope this helps any AQA members in the future, as help can be on its way!

  • January 25, 2023

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