Stepping outside for fresh air during COVID-19: The 'rules of the road' still apply

Posted at 10:21 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 22:41:34-04

NORFOLK, Va. - You’ve probably noticed a lot more people outside lately.

“I think during this quarantine time, people are looking for ways to get out,” said Marty Girardeier.

Governor Ralph Northam recommends that people step outside to exercise during the "stay at home" order.

“I usually walk about a mile and half to two miles,” adds Girardeier.

The order helps keep people safe from the coronavirus, but Girardeir also wants people to be safe on the roads.

“I was following someone the other day. He was on a bike, and he was meandering though the road,” she adds.

News 3 decided to catch up with local police for a quick refresher on what the rules of the road are.

“Bicycles need to to try and stay to the right,” said Officer Jim Bongiovi. He’s a traffic analyst with the Norfolk Police Department.

Bikes are also not supposed to be on sidewalks.

Officer Bongiovi says, “If they are riding a bicycle, they have to follow the same laws a vehicle would follow.”

A big misconception he says people have is that pedestrians always have the right-of-way.

“One of the big problems at night: Pedestrians just cross wherever they want, wearing dark clothes. If it’s dark outside, drivers can’t see them,” Bongiovi adds.

Police say when you see signals at crosswalks, you should use them and when you do have the right-of-way, to walk with some urgency.

“Since January 2019 to today, we have had 99 accidents involving pedestrians where there were injuries, and seven of those resulted in fatalities,” said Bongiovi.

He says never think you have enough time to cross the street.

“You will lose against a 3,000 pound car.”

Police say just like cars, if a pedestrian or cyclist is caught breaking the rules, they will have to pay a fine.

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