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Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Commission: 7 Tips for Walking or Running in the Dark

By David Crozier of the City of Rye’s Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee

(PHOTO: David Crozier serves on the City of Rye's Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee.)
(PHOTO: David Crozier
serves on the City of Rye’s Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee.)

It’s winter, which means curling up by the fire on dark nights – and for many of us, being out there on the streets walking or running.  In our wonderfully walkable town, the January sun rises well after 7am and sets before 5pm. Our Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Commission is sharing these seven tips on how to stay safe out there.

1. Stay visible:  White or other “bright” colors aren’t enough.  Wear hi-viz gear with reflective tabs that are visible from both front and back.  Don’t have hi-viz gear?  Consider an inexpensive reflective belt or sash that provides the visibility without sacrificing comfort.  Clip a small LED light to your clothing for longer range visibility to motorists.
2. Go to the light: Choose routes that are well-lit.  If you just can’t give up that pre-dawn run through the Edith Read, wear an LED headlamp to show you the way.
3. Face the traffic: If you’re in an area without sidewalks, stay to the side facing traffic where possible.  You’ll have more time to make adjustments, and you’ll be less likely to make moves that surprise passing motorists.
 
4. Leave the headphones at home: With fewer visual cues, you need to let your other senses help you out.  If you can’t imagine running without those favorite tunes, lower the volume and turn off noise cancelling.
 
5. Be tuned in to trip hazards: Whether you’re on sidewalks or not, we have uneven surfaces, tree roots and roadside rocks.  Keep your eyes on what’s coming up in front of you and be prepared to adjust.  Added benefit: it’ll help your balance and reflexes!
6. Tell someone where you’re going: …and carry a charged phone!
7. Run with a friend: Aside from being safer, nothing will get you out at 6am on a cold February morning like having a friend counting on you to be there!
Originally from the UK, David Crozier has lived in Rye for 20 years, and has served on the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Commission for the last four. He’s an avid runner and cyclist, and can be spotted out there year-round, in all conditions.

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