Ambulance Rushing Pregnant Woman to Hospital Denied Free Pass Through Toll Booth

During pregnancy, a woman's body grows and changes in unexpected ways. She experiences side effects no one talks about like excessive drool, overactive bladder, and sharp, painful leg cramps. So when you see a pregnant woman, feel free to offer her your seat, let her go in front of you in the bathroom line ... and by all means, if she's being rushed to the hospital in a ambulance, please let a pregnant woman through without paying the toll.


Unfortunately, no one told this to the toll booth operators who stopped Danielle Ollerhead as she was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance in England. The woman collecting the fare asked to see the drivers' tag, but they weren't local and were instead, you know, doing their job picking up an emergency case and rushing through the tunnel to get the pregnant woman to her hospital. This wasn't a good enough excuse according to the woman in the toll kiosk. She demanded payment of £1.70.

Obviously things got heated here because the drivers demanded to speak with the collector's manager rather than toss the money and continue on their way. The manager smoothed things over, apologizing for the way the drivers were treated and letting them go free of charge. The transit authority made a statement that their general policy allows policeman, firefighters, and ambulances to pass through without payment in cases of emergency. 

This means to me that the woman in the toll kiosk didn't believe it was a true emergency. Maybe the pregnant mom wasn't screaming enough. Or writhing in pain. But for her to make that judgment with no medical training would've been absurd and harsh. What if something had happened to the baby as a result of the delay? Would she be able to sleep at night knowing she felt she should collect the £1.70 as part of her job?

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I can't imagine a scenario where a few dollars wins out over a real or perceived emergency. Do you think she was afraid of the slippery slope argument? As in, if she let this non-emergency/emergency through, that ambulance drivers all over the world would find pregnant ladies to give rides to in an effort to get away with free toll fare?

This feels like a failure to see the forest for the trees. She was so focused on doing her job that she ignored the big picture that this could be a really serious situation that required a little leeway in the ordinary course of procedure. Thankfully, the pregnant mom arrived at the hospital in time and safely. I hope any pregnant woman would be given the benefit of the doubt in any situation, especially one she says is an emergency.


Image via MR.Pongsiam Khumsoithong/shutterstock

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