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Don't Risk Being Hit By A Car; Use Sidewalks
Thanks to Mr. Tuxbury and Mr. Kelley for their responses to my letter in the July 7 issue (Mailbag, July 21).
I agree with many of the points they made (but not all). Although they intended to oppose my viewpoint, in fact they have supported it quite well.
Here is what I gather from their letters. Because there are difficulties and hazards with walking/running on the sidewalk, it is better to walk/run in the street with the irresponsible speeding drivers.
I have experienced all the same sidewalk hazards that Mr. Tuxbury cites. The solution to that problem is to seek correction of those hazards, either with the homeowner or your city hall.
Mr. Kelley cites Missouri laws regarding traffic and pedestrians. Missouri Statute 300.405 makes it unlawful to walk in the street when a sidewalk is available. If a sidewalk is not available, we must walk on the shoulder or edge of the road facing oncoming traffic. Missouri statutes also clearly state when the pedestrian must give the right-of-way to drivers.
This is all good, but my point is not the Missouri law. It doesn't matter who has the legal right-of-way. Without exception, the laws of physics trump Missouri laws. When a vehicle hits a person, the vehicle wins and the pedestrian looses.
Missouri law applies only after the accident. The pedestrian, or his/her survivors, can bring suit. The driver, if innocent, has to live with the terrible memory of the accident; if negligent, the driver is subject to the penalties provided by law. The pedestrian is dead or in the hospital.
Everywhere in the WKT reading area there are good walking/running places that are safe. Use them. Don't risk damaging your family by being hit by a car.
John L. Downes
August 03, 2017