Thursday, June 16, 2011


There was further information in the Austin American-Statesman, on the fatal accident Monday morning just outside our development.
The man who was killed was apparently a runner of some note in the Austin area. He ran daily and was well-known and well-respected among the running community. There has been an outpouring of shock and regret at his loss.

The article stated that Police have determined that the driver of the car had a green light and, thus, the right-of-way was his. There was a photo of the car; it was heavily damaged. According to the article, the runner was trying to cross the street and ran in front of the car. The driver of the car stopped and attempted to give aid, but the runner died at the scene. No charges will be filed against the driver of the car.

In addition, the article provided a lot of information and comments relating to the victim's running career. But there was also a paragraph that said some of what I said yesterday. I would like to paraphrase it here....

Leaders in the running community said that in order to stay safe while training, runners should:

1. Wear brightly colored, high-visibility clothing.
2. Always assume the driver of a motor vehicle is distracted.
3. Avoid crossing against traffic lights at intersections.
4. Avoid jaywalking.
5. Run on a sidewalk if possible.
6 Run against traffic in order to see what's coming.

To some extent that is a slanted list. Assume drivers are distracted???  “Avoid” crossing against the light?? “Avoid” jaywalking??? Run on a sidewalk, “if possible”?? Those items are already matters of law and ARE illegal.

These are a few things I think should be added to that list and every family with a runner, or bike rider, or pedestrian needs to make sure these rules are followed by everyone who is ever out on public streets!

1. Follow all applicable traffic and pedestrian laws.
2. NEVER attempt to "beat" traffic or a stop light.
3. Do not assume that you have the right-of way at all times!
4. PAY ATTENTION!! Don't get lost in "the zone", always pay attention to automobiles, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians, and your surroundings in populated areas.
5. Use common sense and do not expect others to watch out for you! Your safety? Your responsibility!

There are plenty of articles and opinions about auto drivers not acting responsibly to respect pedestrians, runners, bike riders, etc., etc., and to keep them safe. It is time for those pedestrians, runners, bike riders, etc., to act responsibly and respect motor vehicles too! I’d like to see these rules published in every paper, magazine, blog, and newsletter in this area! Maybe everywhere!

Keeping people safe, uninjured, and living while on our roadways and in our neighborhoods is the joint responsibility of us all! Nothing less will work!


  1. Distracted? I always assume a driver may be drunk! -- who knows? They don't wear light up signs, and YES, we are responsible for our own safety and well being.

    As one of my brothers used to say when he was teaching me how to drive, "Unless a tree falls on your car, there's no such thing as an accident. Someone caused that incident to happen!"

    How sad for both families, and it seems as if it could have been prevented.

    It's tourist season in NYC, and my husband is having his usual FITS over how the tourists wander the streets of Manhattan -- to get pictures! At risk of life and limb. Makes him crazy. There ARE rules, and they are there for a reason.

    Good and thoughtful post.
    And ... thanks for visiting my painting progress posts! Take heart ... there may yet be some yellow to be found!

  2. A food for thought post, Mellodee. You have a positive, good sense list for pedestrians. Too bad some runners have to run on sidewalks. The cement is murder on the feet besides distracting with the traffic.


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