The above rhyme - which I tell people to keep in mind before they cross the road - was deleted from the bottom* of my letter-to-the-editor when it was published in February 15, 2004's newspaper. It must have been yanked at the last moment because its space was taken up with a "read our newspaper for tv schedules" ad. I assume the poem was considered "too sensible" to print at a time when police, politicians and press are pushing for a "safer" crosswalk costing a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000).
I wrote the letter in response to an accident wherein two teenagers were killed while crossing the street at a pedestrian-controlled crosswalk. I was hoping the rhyme - which costs nothing to learn - would help save lives.
Anyway, here's the letter, minus the poem, as it appeared in the paper, under the editor's heading:
WHEN YOU GO WALKING, TAKE YOUR BRAIN ALONG
Crosswalk accidents are becoming a Canadian epidemic. Many pedestrians don't seem to realize that you have to take your brain to the crosswalk with you. A designated crosswalk isn't a magical corridor wherein a pedestrian is enveloped in an impenetrable cushion of air or a corridor that sends out magic repellants that render oncoming cars motionless. The laws of physics still apply. In the battle between a human being and a car, the car always wins. In other words, if you start walking across a road before all oncoming cars have stopped, you have a good chance of getting hit AND killed.
Yes, there are drivers who will slam on their brakes and come to a screeching halt causing rear-enders the minute they see you, but there are other drivers who either do not see you or have made the decision it's too late to stop and so pass on.
After the newspaper refused to print the Crosswalk Poem as part of my letter-to-the-editor I decided to pay $30.00 to run the poem as an ad - hoping it becomes a cut-out people can stick on their fridge for the kids to learn.
As the old saying goes, "If it saves even ONE life, it's worth it". At that same crosswalk - two weeks after the accident - three youths were almost hit after stepping onto the road before traffic had stopped. The press, politicians and police are on a feeding frenzy of what they call education, engineering and enforcement to justify the approved expenditure of nearly a quarter million dollars on this suburban road already dotted with traffic lights and crosswalks. Watch for surveillance cameras to be part of this "Safer City" prototype.
WHO'S BEHIND ROAD CONTROL
McCartney's wife in WHO's ads (& that's not "who's on first"). BBC, Apr 8, 2004. Go to 2.Big Brother & 27.Goodthink
Read THE PREVENTION OF LITERATURE, by George Orwell, where he discusses how the concentration of the press in the hands of a few rich men makes it impossible to get the truth printed.
Then see how Orwell develops that theme in "1984" in the 16.Ministry of Truth and ANIMAL FARM DOGS which describes other control mechanisms the police are using to "keep us safe".
Other poems by Jackie Jura are: ODE TO WHO and IN AFGHAN FIELDS and OWED TO FRUITLOOPS
POEMS & SONGS
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