Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jaywalking is NOT Cool

Chickens aren’t the only ones who cross the road. We all have to get to the other side eventually. The safest and smartest way to do that is to not only look both ways but also obey the pedestrian laws.

The other day I saw three young, probably pre to early teen, boys cross the street. Not just any street, a four lane state highway that runs through my town. Granted, the top speed for that stretch of the road is 30 miles per hour, but we all know that drivers often exceed the speed limits.

Anyway, not only were these boys sauntering across the road during rush hour traffic, they were about 20 feet outside of the crosswalk. Oh, and did I mention this crosswalk has a pushbutton to change the lights at the intersection so pedestrians can cross safely? It gets better: they crossed right in front of a police car that was traveling at a high rate of speed with the blue lights blazing.

Newsflash—cars can’t stop on a dime! At 30 mph with dry road conditions, it takes about 90 feet for a car to stop.

As a driver I make sure I stop for pedestrians. Not only is it the law, I would be devastated if I ever hurt or killed anyone. But pedestrians have to do their part, too. Cross in the crosswalks! If you push the crosswalk button, wait for the light!!! The rules vary from town to town. Obeying the traffic rules not only prevents you from getting a ticket, it can save your life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Manners--A Thing of the Past?

The teenagers in my neighborhood don’t know it but they’re participating in a little experiment of mine. When I’m out walking Benny the Wonder Dog before school in the mornings the high schoolers are waiting for their buses. I don’t want to walk rudely by them so I say “Good morning” or “Hello.” The first time this happened not one of them responded to me. I thought they didn’t hear me. But when it happened the second time I realized they didn’t know that when someone says “Good morning” to you it is good manners to say “Good morning” right back.

So that’s when I decided to start my experiment. What would it take to get a teenager to say good morning to a middle aged lady walking a semi-neurotic dog?  (Or is it a middle aged dog walking a semi-neurotic lady?)

The next day I made a bit of a ruckus as I approached those three young ladies at their bus stop. They had their backs to me and as Benny and I got closer, two of them turned around. I greeted them with my usual cheery, “Good morning.” One girl responded with a polite, “Good morning,” one girl kept her back to me and the other one just turned back around. Progress, I thought.

The next day I upped the ante. Not only did I say, “Good morning,” I also said, “Have a nice day.” “You, too,” responded the spokesperson of the group. She smiled. I smiled. It was a good start to the day.

Manners make the world a better place. Let’s be a littler nicer to each other. We’re all in this together.

What do you think? Please me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!