Out of serious care and concern for our citizens, I felt compelled to remind everyone of the importance of visibility when walking, biking, jogging or running along our city and state streets and roads.
While driving at night recently, I nearly struck two pedestrians walking along the side of the road.
There was another car travelling the other direction, and with the glare of the lights and the fact that the two walkers were wearing dark clothes, I simply didn’t see them until the last second or so. Quite honestly, it scared me immensely, and thankfully, I was driving the speed limit and was able to see them just in time.
With that said, if you decide to use the streets and roads for walking, jogging, running or biking, please dress accordingly with all proper safety gear and appropriate clothing that can be seen both during the day and at night.
Most of us saw on the news recently where a cyclist was struck by an automobile in the middle of a sunny day. Thankfully that cyclist is going to be OK, but unfortunately many pedestrians and cyclist are seriously injured or killed every day as a result of pedestrian versus vehicle incidents all across our great country.
With Mt. Juliet’s rapid growth comes an even greater need for all citizens to use various safety measures while traveling and utilizing our roadways. For example, with the increasing Mt. Juliet population, there will definitely be an increase in vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic and an even greater need to share the roadways safely.
Daily complaints are received about both vehicular and pedestrian safety and the need for more citizen awareness. Many citizens have reported concerns about pedestrians walking, jogging or riding bikes along the roadways and streets and have asked if a law could be passed that would require or mandate that all walkers, runners, joggers and/or bike riders be required to wear reflective clothing at night and highly visible clothing during the daytime hours. Citizens have also suggested these individuals be required to use lights and flashlights at night for proper illumination and visibility.
I have advised all that I would spread the word and assist in educating as many citizens as possible about both pedestrian and bicycle safety and the need to be highly visible at all times when in or near the roadways.
Therefore, I would like to urge any citizen using the roadways for walking, jogging, running or riding bikes to please wear proper safety equipment when in or near the roadways.
Here are just a few tips to keep you and your family safe and visible when walking, jogging, running or bicycling:
• Walkers, joggers and runners are encouraged to use flashlights and wear highly reflective and visible clothing at all times.
• Bicyclists are encouraged to wear proper safety equipment as well, including helmet, gloves, eye protection and highly reflective and visible materials on both the clothing and bicycle.
• If walking, jogging or running with your pets don’t forget to include them in your safety plan, as well. They won’t need a helmet, but they will need to have highly visible and reflective markings. Note: most pet stores carry reflective collars and vests for pets.
• If you have a cellphone, carry it in case of an emergency.
• Other safety materials include reflective armbands, vests and ankle straps, just to name a few.
As you can imagine, these are only a few safety measures that you can use to make yourself safe while walking, jogging or riding a bike in or near the roadway. Our roadways are becoming busier everyday and we must do all that we can to make sure that we are safe and visible at all times. The sooner a motorist spots you while driving down the roadway the sooner that motorist can process the needed information in order to make a safe maneuver around you.
Far too many pedestrians are struck and either seriously injured or killed because a motorist didn’t see them until it was too late. We must do all that we can to prepare and protect ourselves. So please be safe and visible out there. We care about you and want to keep you safe.
Kenny Martin is city manager in Mt. Juliet.