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It’s more than look left, right, then left again

Everyone remembers being told, “look left, right, then left again” when you were taught to cross the street as a child. Or maybe you were just told “look both ways”. That part seems to have stuck. The looking part. The part that didn’t stick is cross at the corner and cross with the light.

Texas is a state for drivers. People in Texas love their cars. Public transportation was horribly under-used here compared to other major cities. I say was because the gas prices have started a trend of more and more people taking a bus or train to work. But most people still drive.

People in Texas don’t walk a lot. Except maybe in their local neighborhood or in downtown Dallas. Because they don’t walk a lot they forget all they were taught as children about using the crosswalk and waiting for the green light. The way people cross the street in Texas is dangerous. People dash across the street in the middle of a block because going all the way to the corner seems like a pain to them. Nowhere near as painful as getting hit by a car would be, but still enough of a pain that they will risk death or severe injury for the convenience.

OK, that’s bad, but what is UP with the people crossing within 20 feet of a corner without going to the corner. The corner is RIGHT THERE and they still won’t go there to use the cross-walk. They run across the street assuming no one is going to turn at the corner and hit them. Or they weave between cars stopped at the light. It’s insane. Really, really nuts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2006 Texas ranked third out of all 50 states in the number of pedestrian deaths with only California and Florida having more deaths. They did a statistical report in 2003 that found that 30% of pedestrian deaths are caused by improper crossing, 25% are caused by walking, playing, or working in the roadway, and 15% by failing to yield the right of way (crossing when you don’t have a green light).

So, here is my plea to you, the teens of Carrollton. Please cross at the corner. Please cross with the light – when it is green for you. And of course, look left, then right, then left again.

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