By G. Anthonie Riis | Fort Knox NewsDecember 4, 2019
The Fort Knox Safety Office is asking runners to take added measures to stay safe when exercising on the installation during the winter months.
Safety Officer Joe Colson said the installation's safety regulations in FKN 385-1011 have been updated with some clarification to the Personnel Movements on Roadways section.
The updates, according to Colson, reflect concerns by installation leaders that runners are not being safe and seen by drivers during times of low visibility, especially when they're distracted because of technology.
"Soldiers must have some sort of reflective material when running in the Physical Fitness Uniform during hours of low visibility," Colson said. [Depending on command directives,] they may not need [reflective belts] when they go to the gym, but [some] are leaving the gym and running with what they have on -- with their earbuds still in their ears.
"They're focused on what they're listening to and can't hear what's going on with the traffic."
Runners not in uniform need to wear "a light colored upper garment" at the very least, said Colson, though reflective material is a plus.
Neither runners nor drivers need distractions when on the move, Colson added.
"We have distracted drivers who are paying more attention to their devices than to others. Runners owe it to themselves not to be distracted, too," he said.
He advised running defensively.
"The regulation reads that individual walkers, runners or informal groups of walkers or runners must yield the right of way to all vehicular traffic," Colson stated. "Walkers and runners have the right of way over vehicles only at marked crosswalks.[Many] runners believe that they [always] have the right of way, but they should jog in place and wait for the traffic to pass."
The direction of travel is also important and is affected by whether one runs alone or in a formation.
"If you're running in a formation, you want to run with traffic because your group is easier to see and the traffic is required to slow to 10 mph," Colson said. "Individuals choosing to run in the roadway shouldn't run with their back to traffic but should run toward traffic where both runner and driver have a better chance to see each other and react, if they need to."
Consideration for one another is key to keeping everyone safer, according to Colson.
"We ask everyone to keep safety as a forethought," said Colson. "Really, it's about drivers having respect for runners and runners having respect for the traffic simultaneously."