ROUND 1: Turning right on RED
I can not tell you how MANY times I have almost been hit by cars turning right on red. I have almost been hit at 5 am when I am lit up like a frickin tree (no joke, you can see me a block away between my headlamp and led arm bands). I have almost been hit at 4:30 in the afternoon in broad daylight. And I have almost been at 7 pm. So basically, it doesn't matter the time of day, it's bound to happen.
Drivers: In intersections where turning on Red is legal , drivers often only look to the left to see if cars are coming and do not ever look right.
It is almost like the minute a person (and even some runners as painful as that is to think about) gets into the car, it is like they forget that there are sidewalks where people; walk, run, bike, let their children walk, etc.
So they just don't bother to look for pedestrians. They don't check to see if there is a walk sign. They are only concerned about darting through the red light so that they can get somewhere 5 seconds faster. So they NEVER see that runner crossing the crosswalk. So a runner has to either come to an abrupt stop, which we all know can be tricky, quickly duck behind the car which can also be tricky, or get splattered by the car.
And my absolute FAVORITE part is when the driver then begins yelling at the runner for making them stop! For real this happened to me twice in a 24 hour period. It was light out, I had a walk sign and was crossing in the crosswalk and this woman tried to blow through the red light, turning right and there was NO WAY I was going to have time to go around her or stop. And the she decided it was MY fault she had to stop and starts pointing at the walk sign (which had the white little walk dude btw) and yelling at me. AND then the moment of clarity hit as I "calmly" pointed at her red light and my walk sign. It was my right away, but she was in such a hurry she was willing to seriously injure me or even worse take my life because she was in a rush, and in her mind it was my fault! Less than 24 hours later, at 6 am when it was dark the same thing happened. I was lit up bright and had reflective gear on and this truck almost hit me doing the same thing. I watched him never look right, he was only concerned about cars coming from the left. Luckily I had time to go behind him, and I am sure it was more than a little startling when he heard the loud thump of me hitting the back of his truck.
I quickly made this PSA to put on my IG and twitter after these events as a gentle reminder for drivers
Runners: Have been known to ignore red lights and just cross because stopping is a pain in the ass or judge that " I have enough time" before the car gets to the intersection.
Honesty time: I also have been guilty of this. I see a car far enough down a road and figure "I've got time". Ya well jokes on me if they decide to speed up. I have a red light, they have a green, it is not my right away. Runner's also can be real asshats when road running when it comes to who "runs the road". I mean lets think about it, person in a 2,000 lb car or person with a 4mm drop shoe. Ya, pretty sure that car is going to win in a head to head. And I have been that asshat. There have been a few incidents where afterwards I think to myself "and this is why drivers hate runners" or when my running partner threatens to "use your pony tail to pull you back". BUT I AM working on this! I feel like I have become a much safer runner over the last few months. I don't want to be an asshat and I can think of a 1,000 better way to spend my time than in a hospital or morgue!
HOWEVER, when that car has a red light, and the way you are going has a green light, IT IS the runner's right away and it is 100% legal for you to cross. That car has to stop!
I try to make eye contact with the driver of the car when I coming so I know they see me. I am sure there are a few people in the city who think I am coming on to them ( and then there was the dude who sat at a green light and legit just stared... but that is another story for another time). But at least I know that they see me and I won't get smeared across the pavement.
So In ROUND 1 of Runners vs Drivers: Turning Right on Red, Runners WIN
But please please use caution, because drivers are not looking for you!