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Published: Monday, 12/23/2013

Perrysburg police advise motorists, joggers to be wary in winter

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

In the aftermath of two pedestrians being hit recently by vehicles, Perrysburg Police Chief Daniel Paez has cautioned area drivers to be aware of joggers or walkers in or along the roadways, especially in the morning.

Both accidents in recent weeks involved people jogging or walking on the road before dawn. One of them resulted in the pedestrian being taken to the hospital.

"It is a combination of the darkness and weather," Chief Paez said. "Residents haven't cleared off their sidewalks yet in the early morning and joggers use the roadways."

He said jogging on roadways is OK, but residents need to comply with ordinances for their own safety.

The ordinances state that any pedestrian walking, running, or jogging along the road shall do it as near to the outside edge of the roadway as practical, and on the left side facing traffic. If multiple residents are running they need to be in a single-file line. When it is dark, joggers need to have a vest, sash, or tape that is reflective so people can see it from 300 feet in the darkness. 

"Every year we get close calls at this time of year. This year, we had a couple of incidents," Chief Paez said. "We have to look out for the safety of the public."

When there is a sidewalk available to use, pedestrians need to use the sidewalk. Pedestrians need to yield to the right of way of all vehicles. 

Chief Paez said there is no specific spot in the city where these issues are more common. "It is all over," he said.

Violators of the ordinance are guilty of a minor misdemeanor on first offense. For a second offense within a year, the person could be charged with a demeanor of the fourth degree.

"This gentle reminder is for the safety of the public," Chief Paez said. "You hate to have a fatality around the holidays because someone is not aware of the rules."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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