‘Share the road’ with runners

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I love running. I love running our rural roads at Rescue.

While I am running I love to wave and say hello to my neighbors. I really appreciate when drivers leave enough distance (at least 3 feet) when they’re passing me. Nevertheless, sometimes some drivers do not understand that WE MUST SHARE THE ROAD.

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While I am running, I always try to do it during daylight if possible. I run in the opposite direction of traffic. I always have my phone with me, but I never use it or use headphones. I wear bright and colorful clothes, and now in winter I also use clothes with reflecting colors. I am even wearing a bright and powerful headlamp. I want to be seen.

Nevertheless, sometimes some drivers, overall on Smith Neck’s Road, speed and do not follow the rules to share the road as our state code claims (§ 46.2-924. Drivers to stop for pedestrians; installation of certain signs; penalty.).

During the past six months I have been running our rural roads daily, and I have experienced the irresponsible driving of some people. I also have seen multiple dead wild animals hit by vehicles on the shoulders of our roads (more than a dozen deer, raccoons, squirrels, even foxes).

Additionally, the number of accidents on surrounding roads close to the busy Route 17 are increasing lately, mostly because drivers speed and do not respect the security distance.

Sadly, and unfortunately, this will go up unless everybody slows down and shares the roads. Because somebody wants to save a couple of minutes to his or her destination is not worth losing an entire life.

My whole point in this is we all are pedestrians. There are pedestrians who drive cars, pedestrians who drive bikes, and pedestrians who drive trucks. Remember that once you are not driving and for some reason you have to get out of your vehicle, you are a pedestrian and would like to be seen and sure that the other road user sees you. The same way our police officers, firefighters and first responders are on the roads. Everybody must respect their work.


Toni Viudez