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Ask Officer Michelle – Safe Evening or Early Morning Running

Posted by ktraffi
Hello Officer Michelle, I’m starting a morning exercise routine including a brisk walk from the corner of 2nd Avenue and Alhambra to the corner of 2nd Avenue and Riverside. I’ll be leaving my front door at 4:00 AM four to five weekday mornings. I’m concerned that residents seeing a strange person in street clothes, (I have not been wearing running clothes on my mid morning weekend walks) may be wary or even phone the police. I’m thinking of buying some kind of reflector jacket or vest. Is there any kind of curfew laws I need to know about or should I be prepared to have a patrol car possibly stop me to see what I’m doing? Thank you

Dear ktraffi,

Let me be the first to congratulate you for starting your morning off with exercise. The only people up and out that early are you and the Army! Seriously, there are no curfew laws for adults. Sacramento City Code Section 9.40.010 only applies to unaccompanied juveniles. You have the right to run any time of the day or night. It is not necessarily common though to see someone running that early, so if you do happen to get stopped by a patrol officer, just be courteous and explain what you are doing. You should be on your way. Make sure you have some form of ID on your person whenever you go out. And I would definitely wear a reflector vest of some sort during hours of darkness for your safety. I wear one myself when I run at night during daylight savings time. It simply makes good sense to wear one so that you are visible to drivers. They also sell blinking lights that you can wear around your arm or leg that give even more warning to oncoming traffic. I found a great link that sells such items at http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/gear/gearsafety/. Additionally, I would run with a cell phone in case of emergencies, abstain from wearing ear phones, and run in an area that is populated…even if they are all asleep! Good luck to you.

Officer Michelle

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