It always tugs at my heart when I hear about a runner getting hit by a car. Regardless of how extensive the injuries are, it’s something you never want to hear about.
This morning I went out for a run that only lasted for 2 and a half miles mostly because it’s ridiculously humid but also because it seemed like everyone in my neighborhood was pulling out of their respective driveways at the same time. Most of them weren’t paying attention which loosely translated means, I almost got hit a few times, and had I not been paying attention, I would have.
Elizabeth Jaeger loves to run and that’s what she was doing on a street in Bernards Township, New Jersey when a car shot out of a driveway. Before she knew it, she had run into the back of the car, fell and hit her head. Fortunately she wasn’t hurt badly and didn’t require medical attention but she did call the police in order to report the accident in case she realized later that her injuries were worse than she first thought.
When the policeman arrived on the scene he gave Jaeger a piece of paper with the case number and explained that she shared half the responsibility for the accident by running in the street and that she should have been running on the sidewalk.
She explained that she would like to run on the sidewalk but it is often blocked by cars, un-shoveled snow, uneven pavement, etc. making it impassable and so she just runs in the street.
So the officer told her to ‘get a treadmill’.
Jaeger admits that she was confrontational but she said it was because he told her to go buy something she couldn’t afford.
So, about an hour later the officer showed up at Jaeger’s home and proceeded to hand her a ticket. He also told her that he had found her 100% responsible for the accident.
Apparently hell yes….
because in New Jersey there is a little known law that states a pedestrian, (defined as anyone on foot), must use the sidewalks when they are provided and accessible, which Jaeger did not do.
And so Jaeger received a ticket for $54 which she paid. She could have fought the ticket but chances are, she would have lost so she chose to pay it and avoid any possible additional fines.
After reading this story I was curious so I consulted my old friend Google and I found out that Florida has the same law! The exact same law! Florida Statute 316.130 (4) basically says the exact same thing.
Technically I could get a ticket every time I run on the street in Florida when there is an accessible sidewalk present. Wow. Kind of makes me love my little running trail out in the middle of nowhere even more.
Do you know if it’s illegal to run in the street in your state and do you run in the street? (I do it all the time!)
Would you continue to run in the street if you got a ticket for it? (I’m going to because obviously I’m a hellion and a rebel!)