A Time To Walk
Yesterday, an 84 year-old man was sent to the hospital with critical injuries after being struck in a hit-and-run incident as he was walking along Robindale Road in Las Vegas.
Yesterday morning, a 66 year-old man was walking when he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Lompoc, California.
At lunch time, a high school student in Kearney, Nebraska was hit by a car as he was crossing the road in front of the school.
At about the same time, a pedestrian was hit by a car in Greenville, South Carolina.
That same day, Sandy Scully was hit by a pickup truck in Rocky Hill, Connecticut as she was walking across a parking lot. The pickup truck kept going, until it pinned Scully to the pavement, giving her life threatening injuries.
A man who was walking in Elmore County, Idaho was then hit by a pickup truck. A little bit later, a pedestrian was hit by a van in Sioux Falls. The driver of the van was not injured, police reported.
Also that day, a 39 year-old woman suffered head injuries on Chambers Street in Eugene, Oregon. She had been traveling on foot.
In Exeter, Rhode Island, a woman was walking with a friend when she was hit by a minivan, flipping up to hit the windshield and then the roof of the vehicle before she fell back to earth on the side of the road. She is in critical condition.
Last night, pedestrian Jerome Jordan Walker was sent to surgery in Fayetteville, North Carolina after he was hit by a car.
Two hours before midnight last night, a man was walking in Kanawha County when he was knocked down by one car and then run over by another. He was killed.
An hour later, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a car in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
About the same time, Sheila McAlexander was struck by a car as she was walking in Carterville, Georgia. She was dragged for 137 feet before the car fled the scene. McAlexander did not survive.
At a single intersection in Guelph, Ontario, two pedestrians have been hit by cars this week, even though the intersection is patrolled by a school crossing guard.
Yesterday was National Walking Day – a day when Americans are encouraged to go out walking for the sake of their health. Yet, every day, Americans are killed by cars while they go out walking.
Political interests aligned with car manufacturers have done their best to make walking seem pathological. They’ve arranged to have laws passed making the simple act of crossing the street a crime. They lecture walking Americans that, unless they are wearing special fluorescent-colored reflective bright vests while out for a stroll, it’s their own fault if they get hit by a car.
Americans are becoming increasingly unhealthy because, too often, they drive when they could walk. They are making the planet unhealthy by pumping too many greenhouse gases and other pollutants into the air out of their cars’ tailpipes. Americans are killing each other with their cars.
It’s easier to focus on threats from the outside – even if the threats are relatively small, as in the case of terrorism – than to acknowledge that Americans are harming each other. Yet, we have more power to change our own day to day behavior than we do to change the behavior of people in foreign lands with different cultures than our own.
If the United States spent half the amount of the annual budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security on making our country safer from cars, safer for walkers instead, our collective health and happiness would be the better for it.