Runners death leads to call for more pedestrian space - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Runners death leads to call for more pedestrian space

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) -

The Central Virginia running community is calling for changes following the death of runner Meg Menzies. 

Runners and cyclists are coming together following the tragic death of Meg Menzies in Hanover this week. Police say suspected DUI driver Dr. Michael Carlson struck and killed her as she ran.

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"It re-alerts us to how much we have to pay attention," says Sean Cusack with the Richmond Road Runners. He is calling on runners, cyclists and drivers to work together and he wants lawmakers to consider more safe spaces for pedestrians.

"If we have more trails, multi-use trails in this area for cyclists and runners, it would not only keep the runners and cyclists possibly off the roads but it will also keep our children more active," Cusack said.

Running advocates say Menzies was doing everything right: running on a shoulder outside of the travel lane and running facing traffic.

Police say they're prepared to enforce laws designed to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe.

Chesterfield Police Sgt. Tim Kehoe also wants cyclists to be aware it's against state law to listen to music with headphones in both ears. He says it is legal to use one ear, but he advises against that too since it can still be a distraction.

As an avid runner himself, Sgt. Kehoe wants pedestrians and drivers to play it safe.

 "Obviously pedestrians can't just run out into traffic and cause any type of disruptions like that," he said. If they do, they can be cited. "In our case, a crash investigation team would come out. Witness interviews would be a big part of it."

He's also reminding cyclists to ride along with the direction of traffic. If you don't, that's a citation too.

"It's a recipe for disaster there. Cyclists have to follow the same road rules as a vehicle," Kehoe added.

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