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Niagara-on-the-Lake
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Ross’s Ramblings: Walkers, please wear light-coloured clothing or reflective vest
THE_EF~1

Warning:  The following contains graphic language and disturbing thoughts. Anyone who gets queasy at the thought of blood, shattered bones and even death, should not read further.

Full disclosure: I have no right to preach or pontificate. I have done lots of dumb things during my somewhat adventurous life, but I have never intentionally put my life in danger. Or anyone else’s life.  

Another pedestrian killed in our quiet village? It’s not “if,” it’s when!”

I am done being subtle, beating around the bush. I witness totally preventable dangerous situations on our roadways, several times each week. Totally, 100 per cent preventable.

I am done cajoling, done being polite, done suggesting.

Let me be blunt and at the same time touchy feely. With very few exceptions, I love NOTLers, and always love living in our wee paradise. Even with a heavy dusting of snow, it’s sure purdy and pleasant. 

I do not want to kill anyone while driving around, so I almost always pay attention to the road in front of me.

Some months ago, The Lake Report published a totally black “picture” I submitted. The caption underneath read, approximately, “Two unidentified and almost invisible people walk their dog on a Chautauqua street, enjoying a dark and quiet evening with Fido.”

Please, neighbours, wear light-coloured clothes and/or reflective vests.

As a former long-distance runner, now a short-distance plodder (right, left, right, left), I almost always wear light-coloured running gear and run against traffic, careful to be well over on the shoulder.

At least this way, I can see possible danger and take evasive action. After this Christmas, I also have a toque with a battery-powered light to be even more visible to drivers. What a great gift, eh?

I have run thousands of miles, many marathons and along some of the most beautiful trails, beaches and byways in the world. Not one step with music or “the news” in my ears. 

My failing sense of hearing is a good thing and the sounds of nature are God-given. Please, no earphones or earbuds, or whatever they are called.

Let’s ramble back now to preventable deaths.  Well over half of the people walking, with or without Fido, after dark, on a clear or dark night, wear dark outerwear. Either black or navy blue. 

Very, very little reflectable striping or lettering, if any at all.  And many walk with the flow of traffic, trusting drivers to not kill or injure them.

I almost hit someone, just the other day. Invisible till the last second.

Please give yer heads a shake. Think about it. Life is too good to end up badly maimed or dead just because a driver didn’t see you in time and couldn’t swerve.

Thirty-seven years ago, I bought the 43 members of the St. Catharines Running Club a reflective Uniglobe Travel 10-inch circular logo, which they all put on the back of their windbreakers.

Even with that added safety precaution, several club members were injured by cars or trucks. One was killed.

Thank you for your patience, but this Ramble contains a very serious request. Be more visible. Wear light-coloured clothing, wear a reflective safety vest. How about a blinking light, front and back. Please, let’s help each other.

P.S. After 22 months of COVID, I am still confused. Is a positive test negative news? Is a negative test good news? Just askin’.