Have the rules of the road changed? When I was a kid one of the first things we learned was that if you’re going to walk on a road with traffic, always walk facing oncoming traffic. Not only are you more visible, but you actually get to see what’s coming toward you. I mean, wouldn’t you want to know if a car was about to slam into you? So that maybe you can jump out of the way or something? Are you that trusting? That’s nuts.

I looked it up, and the rules of the road have NOT changed. Pedestrians who are walking on a road without sidewalks should always walk facing oncoming traffic. It’s common sense, and it’s a whole lot safer. So, to the early morning walker I pass on my way to work in the dark… what the heck are you thinking? You’re dressed in dark clothes on a dark morning and you’re walking with your back to oncoming traffic. You don’t even look back at what’s coming even though I know you must hear me approaching. Do you really want to be that unaware of your surroundings? That’s a dangerous game, Buddy.

I’m a pretty conscientious driver, and I still didn’t notice you on the shoulder until right before I passed you. And you seemed totally oblivious. What if I was one of the many distracted drivers you see around the Hudson Valley? I have seen tons of drivers looking at their phones or sipping their coffee. One or two seconds of their distraction could cost you your life. It’s up to drivers to be aware on the road, but pedestrians should be doing the right things, too. Which you, Poughkeepsie Morning Walker, are not doing.

Here’s some advice. First of all, when you walk make sure you’re facing oncoming traffic. You’re an adult and I can’t believe you’ve never learned that. Also, stop being so trusting. There are some horrible drivers out there and you should be aware of what’s going on around you at all times. And if you’re going to be walking in the dark, wear something reflective. At least stop wearing all dark clothes. I’ll be looking out for you on my morning commute, but you’ve got to look out for yourself, too.

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