Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Protection Includes Being Seen

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Protection Includes Being Seen

Article excerpt

Emilie R. Green of Ponte Vedra Beach wrote a an excellent letter to the editor published Feb. 6. She offered some fine advice to those of us who put our lives on the line when we run, blade-skate or bike on narrow roads in the dark.

As a concerned driver, she asked that "we" remember that we are not easily seen and that some drivers are not observing the speed limit. She asked us to wear reflective clothing and remain aware as we share the roads. Excellent advice and sound observations that may receive more attention because they came from someone besides me.

My epiphany came about 1 a.m., just a block from my apartment, 10 years ago. I was driving home after a 12-hour shift in an emergency room. At First and Lora in Neptune Beach, I almost took out a cyclist. He was dressed in dark clothing and had no reflective protection.

Even though I missed him, it took me an hour to relax after that.

For many years, my twice-a-week bike commute was an 18-mile trip. A concerned friend presented me with my first bike helmet after my first month. He had passed me on Atlantic Boulevard riding dumb, without one.

Now, I never ride without one. The concern of others often helps us develop the awareness that we probably should already possess. Emilie Green's message is quite clear.

My frequent trips on First Street have left me wondering why there is not mass death along its route. Blade skaters often glide with headsets on and seem totally oblivious to those who approach as they move in graceful passes across the entire lane.

Some runners and bike riders choose the exact wrong lane. They run with traffic in the right lane while cyclists ride the same lane against traffic. God must be watching over them. Runners should face traffic by running in the left lane; cyclists, as part of traffic, should be on the right, traveling with traffic. …

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