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Drivers should watch for runners on the road, too

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There have been a few accidents to make the news lately relating to driver awareness. There were a couple disastrous motorcycle vs. vehicle accidents in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and one involving a vehicle vs. a young rollerblader in Detroit Lakes.

I'd like to call attention to another area where drivers should be aware and understanding; that is runners.

With darkness fast approaching in the evenings and the sun slow to rise in the mornings, many of us runners are out in the dark. We run on the sides of the roads, along the lakes and on the sidewalks when available. I tend to run on the shoulder of county roads, as I live south of Audubon. I wear my reflective gear and often a headlight too. I believe I'm visible to drivers as the majority of drivers do try to give me a little space. A few kind truck-drivers give my son a "honk" at his prompting and it makes his day. Yet I often find myself, at least once a run, heading for the ditch due to an oncoming vehicle not seeing me or perhaps getting a laugh at my jumping into the ditch.  

The other evening a car, in my opinion, ran the rumble strip toward me just to have some fun. To that driver and to others, I don't find it funny. You scared me. What if I would have tripped? You weren't even an arm's length away. What if you misjudged the distance?

But more than scare me, it made me angry because of the complete lack of respect and disregard for others' safety.

Thankfully, my kids weren't running with me as this may have deterred them from running. They are just learning to respect the road and its characters. It won't deter me from running either, but makes me even more cautious when out.

Speaking for other runners, walkers and active users of the road, please give us just a little space and respect our rights to be there too. The road is wide enough for us all. -- Anna Alger, Audubon

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