Share the road during PT: Runners and drivers must know the rules during PT hours

Commander's Column

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brian S. Cullen

Physical training is a requirement for all service members to conduct on a daily basis, regardless of where they are stationed.

The service members at Fort Meade are no exception.

What makes us different from most garrisons is that due to the smaller footprint and congested nature of this garrison, we have no closed running routes.

What we do have are roads that are designated as protected during the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Protected roads mean that organizations or individuals conducting physical training have the right-of-way over motor vehicles. For this to work properly and to keep everyone safe, operators of motor vehicles and runners need to keep in mind a few simple rules and be willing to share the road.

For those arriving to the installation between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., you will be sharing the road with units and individuals conducting physical training along our roadways.

Roads south of Mapes, including Rock Avenue, are protected roads for use by organizations and individuals to conduct physical training.

You stand a good chance of coming up on a formation running down the road. When meeting up with a formation proceeding in the same direction of travel as you, reduce your speed and wait for the individual in charge of the formation to signal you that it is safe to pass.

Passing speed is 10 mph.

Upon coming upon a formation traveling in the opposite direction, reduce your speed to 10 mph as you are passing the formation. These rules for passing also apply when encountering an individual running on the road.

Organizations and individuals conducting physical training also need to be aware that roads on Fort Meade are not closed for physical training and that they will be sharing the road with motor vehicles.

Organizations conducting formation runs need to proceed with the flow of traffic, staying to the right side of the road ensuring they do not cross the center line.

For those formations of eight or greater, road guards with reflective vests or belts need to be posted to the front and rear of the formation.

Individual runners will run opposite of traffic flow and will use sidewalks when available. If there are no sidewalks available, individuals may run on the roadway but need to stay far left along the shoulder.

When a vehicle approaches, individual runners — if possible — need to move off the roadway onto the shoulder of the road until the vehicle passes.

This does not absolve drivers of the requirement to slow down when passing a runner.

During hours of limited visibility, runners must wear reflective gear so they are visible to drivers with whom they are sharing the road.

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