Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

February 8, 2019
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                 Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512


NEW CITY, NY - - During Heart Health Month in February, Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert encourage residents to keep their hearts healthy by walking, the most popular and simplest form of exercise you can do.

Walking is low-risk and easy to start. It can help keep you fit and reduce your risk of serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more. According to the American Heart Association, a regular walking program can also: improve your cholesterol profile; lower blood pressure; increase your energy and stamina; boost bone strength; and prevent weight gain. For more information visit

"However, as good as walking is for you, walkers are pedestrians and need to be aware of potential dangers and how to safely share the road with cars. There are rules of the road that need to be followed, even when walking, to avoid getting injured by a motor vehicle," said Dr. Ruppert:

  • Use the sidewalk for walking, if there is one
  • If no sidewalk is available, and you must walk on the road – walk facing the oncoming traffic
  • Wear brightly colored clothing so you can easily be seen by drivers
  • Walk with a flashlight if you are walking after dark or have some reflective gear on, like reflective laces for your shoes, so you can be seen
  • Do not run across a road, look left, then right, then left again before crossing over
  • Be aware of traffic; do not be distracted by cell phones or other electronics
  • Be aware of cars in driveways that may be backing out
  • Cross at a corner, not mid-block
  • Wait for a "walk" symbol on main streets where there are traffic lights

The Health Department, in keeping with its "See! Be Seen!" initiative, is working with the County's Department of Public Transportation and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to educate the Rockland County community on important traffic safety measures pedestrians and drivers should take. The Town of Ramapo and Rockland County have been identified as one of the top 20 communities/counties for pedestrian-related crashes in the 2016 New York State (NYS) Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Both pedestrians and drivers were found to be in violation of NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws.

Leaders of local organizations, agencies, businesses, community and faith-based groups are encouraged to schedule a free, interactive, 45-minute presentation Arrive Alive: Walk Wise Drive Smart. Participants will be provided with pedestrian and traffic safety information they can post, distribute, and share with clients, customers, family members, and others. To schedule a presentation, call the Health Department at (845) 364-2500 and visit