Recent Atlanta Attacks Spark Trail Safety Debate

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 8/14/2014 6:40 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) - When you see and hear about the women who were recently attacked on trails near Atlanta, it makes the average person think twice about lacing up their running shoes.

Ruthie Thompson with Outdoor Chattanooga, says, "The attacks that we've seen in the news lately have been in urban environments, they have been on undeveloped greenways."

There have been three attacks in two weeks.

It made us question a popular area in Chattanooga-Hamilton County ... The Riverwalk.

Thompson adds, "In Chattanooga and Hamilton County, all of our parks and greenways are patrolled. We have park rangers out there, but they can't be everywhere at once."

We found out there are lights stationed every 50 feet, but no security cameras.

Thompson says, "Take your cell phone with you, but keep in mind that your cell phone may not work, particularly when you get into back country environments."

If your phone does not work, there are ten emergency call boxes.

Terri Chapin, also with Outdoor Chattanooga, says, "I will use the old fashioned map and compass to make my way."

And it's never a bad idea to take another person along with you on that run or walk.

After all, safety trumps solitude.

Thompson adds, "Then be sure and let someone know where you're going and what time they can expect you back, so that if something does happen they can follow up."

If something does happen to you, the Hamilton County Mayor's Office says it could take up to 10 minutes before help can get to you.

That may seem like an eternity if you have extensive injuries or are being chased with a Taser.

That's what happened on August 5th at Red Top Mountain.

The Hamilton County Mayor's Office says they haven't have any reports of attacks at the Riverwalk.
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