Let’s face it – when there is snow on the roads, runners hate motorists and motorists hate runners. Runners feel like the motorists are putting them at risk and motorists feel like runners are putting them at risk. I’ll admit it – there may be no good solution here.
What Does The Law Say?
In New York, the Vehicle & Traffic Law has the following pertinent sections:
1151(b) – no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield
1152(a) – every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway
1156(a) – where sidewalks are provided and they may be used with safety, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway
1156(b) – where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Upon the approach of any vehicle from the opposite direction, such pedestrian shall move as far to the left as is practicable.
To Sum Up:
– Runners, don’t jump in front of cars.
– Runners, if you aren’t at a crosswalk (marked or unmarked), you do not have the right of way.
– Motorists, if the sidewalks aren’t clear, runners are allowed to be on the road, as long as they move over as far as is practicable.
These laws won’t make everyone happy. In fact, they will probably make everyone unhappy. Let’s face it, they were designed for a black and white world, and winter is… gray.
Let’s all just be careful out there – and thankful that Spring is right around the corner!