Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Chicken Has Been Crossing The Road Since 1847

Today is the first day of school where I live. As I was driving out of my neighborhood this morning, there were kids darting across the road to get to bus stops. I've had to yield many times to spontaneous roadway crossers in my neighborhood -- and not just people. There have been rabbits, raccoons, dogs, and other crossers as well.

After getting out of the neighborhood, I began to think of the riddle/joke: "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Of course, the common answer is: "To get to the other side!" The riddle first appeared in an 1847 edition of The Knickerbocker, a New York City monthly magazine. As the decades have gone by, there have been variations to the answer -- such as, "It was too far to walk around."

For 172 years people have been clucking -- er, I mean chuckling -- about this riddle/joke. However, kids being able to safely dodge traffic to get to school bus stops is no joking matter. Last year, three siblings in northern Indiana were killed when a driver ignored the flashing lights on a school bus and struck all three as they were crossing the road. At the same time, similar crashes occurred in Florida and Mississippi.

Every year in the United States, at least 100 children are killed in collisions while walking to or from school. About half of all deaths of children in or near school zones involve kids who are 15 or older. The Transportation Research Board reports that 25,000 children are injured every year in school zone accidents.

As this school year gets underway, let's all pay close attention to children in school zones and at bus stops. Be safe and have a great school year everyone!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso