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TRAFFIC: Abide by the ‘country road rule’

Letter by Robert C. Bowser, Fox Island on Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm with 13 Comments »
August 15, 2012 1:05 pm

I was raised on a farm where there were rules for living the country life. The most important rule, learned early, was always walk on the side of the road facing traffic.

This was called the “country road rule.” If there wasn’t a curb, you walked or ran against traffic. Where my grandparents lived there wasn’t a curb for 10 miles!

This past Saturday a man was run down in Bonney Lake and died soon after. From the news reports he was probably walking with traffic and the pickup truck driver, possibly impaired, ran into the man on the road shoulder.

In Pierce and Kitsap counties, many roads do not have curbs; others have minimal shoulders to walk on. For a variety of reasons the “country road rule” is more important now than decades ago when cars and trucks were fewer and moved more slowly.

The point is that if you can see a car coming towards you, your awareness and reaction may avoid disaster. Relying on faith alone that all drivers are responsible, can see well, aren’t talking on the cell phone, never get sleepy, drive at reasonable speeds – you get the idea. My hope is that all of us remember and follow the “country road rule.” Look it up on the Internet.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Fibonacci says:

    The driver was a convicted drunk driver who was once again driving impaired. The pedestrian was on the SHOULDER, and we don’t know if he waswalking with or against traffic, but it sounds like you are blaming the pedestrian.

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    A relative commented on the original article that he was walking against traffic (as he should have been) but that there was a hill that created a blind spot.

  3. Drunks don’t differential between shoulders, sidewalks or walking on the correct side of the road. “Country road rules” applies to drivers not under the influence of mind altering substances.

  4. aislander says:

    It is idiotic to assert that, since following the country-road rule doesn’t protect 100%, we should never follow that sensible rule. Not everyone who is behind the wheel is drunk, but MANY are distracted.

    When we walk with traffic, we put our lives in the hands of other imperfect human beings. Let’s go with odds and do the sensible thing: walk facing traffic…

  5. averageJose says:

    You’re making too much sense aislander.
    Why on earth would a prog encourage anyone to take a little more personal responsibility (precaution in this case) and face traffic while on foot so they could see the oncoming hazards?

  6. lylelaws says:


    I find it hard to believe that even you would attempt to insult someone for simply passing along some information that could save lives.

    You need a new hobby.

    Thanks for the good reminder, Robert.

  7. bobcat1a says:

    Lyle, what was the insult?

  8. aJ – why on earth do you need to cast this as a “prog” issue?

    Point is this – if you walk towards traffic you have a chance to react if some idiot/drunk/texter swerves onto the shoulder. I firmly believe one should always walk/drive defensively and give yourself a better chance of avoiding “accidents”.

    It isn’t the pedestrian’s fault that the driver was drunk, and whether or not he could see (and thus react) to the swerving car may not have saved his life but it still is good advice to give yourself a fighting chance.

  9. aJ – I don’t tend to label your behavior, or aislander’s , or 3rdpigs, et al, as typical of “cons”….don’t understand why you have the need to do so with “progs”.

  10. averageJose says:

    “I don’t tend to label …”

    …we will have to add delusional sense of grandeur to your list of issues.

  11. aislander says:

    Yeah, aJ: you shouldn’t stereotype cave dwellers!

    You have given me a new descriptive for knee-jerk, authoritarian, bleeding-heart, kleptocratic lefties:


  12. Ah yes….the groupthink of authoritarian types……

  13. averageJose says:

    Knee slapper of the day > “I don’t tend to label your behavior

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