Walking and Running Safety is a Shared Responsibility

By Lynn Lewis - lynnl@landings.org
Communications Manager 

Thanks to our moderate climate and remarkable scenery, outdoor activities are a way of life at The Landings. Additionally, with 91 miles of roads and 30 miles of community paths and trails on The Landings Association’s common property, it is not uncommon to see people walking, running, and cycling all year long. As we embrace the cooler temperatures of fall, please be mindful of more people using our roads and community paths. Slow down, be courteous, comply with speed limits, traffic rules and laws, and use caution. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit within the community on our streets is 30 MPH. For more information, check out Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety webpage that covers some facts about pedestrian safety according to Georgia Code. If you think you know all you need to know about walking on a street or driving among pedestrians, you might be surprised to learn you may have forgotten a thing or two. 

Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility. For those hitting the paths for exercise or to enjoy our beautiful community, it is essential to follow specific rules of safety and etiquette to reduce your risk of injury. Although most of these rules are common sense, many people violate common-sense practices every day without realizing it. Please keep these simple safety measures in mind the next time you decide to put on your running shoes.

  • Use the sidewalk, shoulder of the road, or a community path. If you are in an area with a sidewalk, Georgia law requires you to run or walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk provided, then you should walk or run on the shoulder of the road, as far away from the edge of the road as possible. If your route does not include a sidewalk or a shoulder, pedestrians should walk or run as near as possible on the outside edge of the roadway (O.C.G.A. §40-6-96). In our community, we are fortunate to have miles of community paths available for our leisure.
  • Face oncoming traffic. When you are walking on a roadway, you should walk or run facing traffic, as it is easier to see and react to vehicles approaching you. If you are walking on a two-lane road in Georgia, you should walk or run against traffic. Additionally, Georgia law requires that any person on a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all cars on the road (O.C.G.A. §40-6-96).
  • Use a crosswalk. When crossing a street, it is best practice always to cross within a crosswalk if one is available. If you are in a crosswalk, Georgia law requires that a car approaching must stop for you in the crosswalk (O.C.G.A. §40-6-91(a)).
  • Be visible. Wear light-colored clothing with reflective material if you run before dawn or after dark. Use a headlamp (or another light source) so drivers can see you and you can see where you are going.
  • Do not wear earbuds or headphones. You need to be able to hear potential dangers such as vehicles, golf carts, dogs, or other people around you. If you cannot live without your tunes, make sure the volume is low and use only one earbud.
  • Run or walk with a partner. Not only does this increase your safety, but it also makes your walk or run more enjoyable. If your running partner is your dog, keep him on a short leash, so he does not run into traffic or become a trip hazard for other walkers and runners.
  • Walk defensively. Never assume that all road and path users know and follow the rules of the road.

Put these basic practices to use every time you journey onto the trails to ensure a safer and more enjoyable walk or run.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.